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New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 25th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

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The largest scam on the Net today

23 June 2008

A while back I wrote a feature article in which I pointed out that the many "run your car on water" schemes were nothing but a scam.

Since then I've updated that feature, adding new pages, new links and more information on this HHO rubbish and other fuel-saver scams.

I've also received a mountain of email from those who agree that it's a scam and those who swear black and blue that it works for them.

And, I've also received a couple of emails from "reformed" scammers who have filled me in on the details of how this has become one of the biggest money-making frauds on the Net today.

The key player in this scam is (as I originally suspected) water4gas.com which promises to provide you with a treasure-trove of information on how to slash your fuel costs by 40% or more if you download their eBooks that reveal the secrets of how to "run your car on water".

Now while I initially thought this was a scam being run by a whole lot of different people who had perhaps deluded themselves into thinking that they were saving fuel, the reality is far more sinister and well-organised than that.

Water4gas.com is a very slick operation that has recruited an army of affiliates to do their dirty work for them.

By offering affiliates a whopping 50% commission on every eBook and other sale made for this fraudulent dross, Ozzie Freedom and his mates are effectively flooding the Net with bogus testimonials and spam in the form of videos and email.

I was wondering just why, given that this system simply can not work without defying the laws of thermodynamics, so very many people were claiming that they were getting massive fuel savings by using it.

Well one of the "reformed" scammers filled me in on the secrets.

Apparently, when you sign up to become a water4gas affiliate, you get a full kit of "how to scam" (albeit it's referred to as a "marketing guide").

This kit includes a raft of videos that can be uploaded to YouTube, and just check out this YT search and marvel at how much spam has been created by these people from this scam-kit.

What about all those people who claim that it's working for them?

Well the truth is that none of them even have a kit installed in their cars.

The way to earn commissions through water4gas apparently, is to simply tell people that you're saving a fortune and direct them to the website that is built for you as part of the affiliate program.

And, if you take a look at their Affiliate recruitment page you'll see that they're boasting how some affiliates are earning tens of thousands of dollars a month.

Now multiply that by the thousands who have signed up for this programme and you can see that "Ozzie Freedom", the man who claims to be behind water4gas, is raking in millions every month from this scam.

Don't you wish you'd thought of this?

Or do you, like the rest of us, prefer more honest employment?

So it's no wonder that these HHO-fans so strongly argue against the laws of thermodynamics and claim the impossible -- they're simply seeking to fill their own wallets with the money fraudulently extracted from victims of the scam.

I really can't understand why the mainstream media isn't picking up on this -- although I'm presently working with 60 Minutes in what I hope will be an expose' they can distribute outside of NZ.

I also see that the local current-affairs program Campbell Live are going to have a go at (hopefully) repairing the damage they did with that item which screened just over a week ago, effectively promoting the scheme without questioning any of the claims made for it.

I'll also have to give a half-pie Kudos to local auction site Trade Me, they are responding to *some* requests for fuel-saver scams to be pulled (but not all!) yet they haven't added "unproven fuel saver devices" to their list of banned items

As of Sunday night, the were still listing thousands of dollars worth of useless FuelStar catalytic "fuel-saver" devices, despite no credible evidence that they work at all. Here's the truth about FuelStar and others like it, but TradeMe wouldn't pull those lucrative auctions (update: I see they *have* since pulled those auctions -- a big thumbs-up for that).

So what's today's questions for Aardvark readers?

Given how the scale and number of absolutely fraudulent scams are now appearing on the web (first Affiliate Junktion, now Water4Gas), is it time that more resources and attention was given to such things by authorities?

Or is "caveat emptor" good enough?

Should we just stand by and let these fraudsters rip off innocent folk just because those people don't have an adequate understanding of the science involved or don't know that "if it sounds too good to be true..."?

Or could the real solution be to make sure our kids are properly educated in the first instance so they can identify things like water4gas as the scam it is?

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Features:

The EZ Battery Reconditioning scam

Beware The Alternative Energy Scammers

The Great "Run Your Car On Water" Scam

 

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