Beware of empowr

A couple of days ago, I started getting all these messages from something calling itself “empowr”, a social networking site. First alarm: they announced that I had made a post to their site. No, I didn’t, I had never heard of it. Second alarm: they kept sending me messages announcing that I had earned $X from my post and my photo (remember, I had made no post or photo). It was up to $25 today, which sounds rather sweet for two days earnings from something that involved no work at all on my part.

Wait…money for nothing? Don’t trust it. So I looked into it.

Empowr is a scam. It’s not illegal, but it is a cheat in which they give you imaginary credits to monetize connections with imaginary dollar values, but to cash in on those monetized links, you have to repay empowr for all those credits they loaned to you. And, surprise, those loaned credits cost you more than your earnings from links.

Get out while you can. Don’t give them a credit card or paypal information, because you’re authorizing them to buy out all those ‘credits’ they give you.

I checked out the site myself, and here’s another warning: they don’t give you any way to quit empowr once you’re in. Fortunately, I didn’t give them access to facebook or any credit info, so they don’t have any hooks on me, and I just blocked all their messages in email. I expect there will be urgent notifications of ever-growing sums of money piling up in my fictitious account, all getting automatically thrown in the trash.


  1. Rich Woods says

    Same shit, another day.

    Where’s that cartoon about electroprodding someone over the Internet? Although I suppose we shouldn’t sink to their level and feel more willing to commit criminal acts simply because of the distance between IP addresses rather than the distance between physical addresses.

    Talking of which, Donald, how’s that hack request to the FSB working out for you?

  2. blf says

    A bit of searching suggests that (1) This new scam is a reworked version of an older scam called “Fanbox”; and (2) There are claims that Empowr members (apparently called “citizens”) tend to troll when people warn about the scam. (I suppose poopyhead will now find out if that is true?)

    I also found this neat summary of the scam (paraphrased): “Facebook also has advertisements, but an important difference is Facebook earns ad fees from people trying to sell something whilst Empowr earns from its citizens even if they are not selling anything.”

  3. lorn says

    You didn’t fall for it. I likely wouldn’t fall for it, my defenses are less systematic and more cynical, “free” money is, IMHO, always very expensive.

    What worries me is that there are a whole lot of people who might be fooled. My father messes around on the internet a bit and has an E-mail account and is over 80. He only uses cash or pays by check so he is more resistant than many others but one never knows.

    There really needs to be someone going after these grifters.

    If you, or someone you care about, gets caught in one of these deals a good place to start is you credit card company. They can end recurring payments, sometimes claw back money, and quickly reissue a new credit card. The very few times I’ve had to deal with this sort of thing I’ve gotten more satisfaction from the credit card companies than from law enforcement. That is not entirely unexpected given their relative resources. The local police are stretched thin and underfunded. VISA is working with billions of dollars and, seeing as that the bad guys depend on credit card companies to handle payments to them it is easy to snatch funds back.

    The major credit card companies can help on the financial end but they seldom prosecute. The sort of grifters that take advantage of the old, unaware, ill informed and inattentive would be locked up if there was justice in this world. They would do time in a very uncomfortable place for a very long time.

    Which is why it will never happen. Like I said, I’m a cynic.

  4. DonDueed says

    Hey, if it sounds too good to be true… I’m in!

    No wait, that’s not right

  5. andyo says

    Surely a scam, but the first and third link also look shady as fuck, promoting themselves aggressively as scam busters, but in reality selling their own make money from home racket.

  6. empowrsupport says


    We would love to clear up any misconceptions that anyone has about the empowr platform. It is free to join and there are many options that we offer that make sue you do not have to pay anything out of pocket.

    While I’m very sorry to hear about your experience on empowr, your feedback is important to us as empowr constantly strives to improve our products, services, and overall customer experience as much as possible.

    empowr is a free platform that has been carefully designed to enable people to build and monetize a large network of fans, starting with no outside capital. Users (called citizens on empowr) can earn via a multitude of knowledge-based roles, including from the views of their photos, videos, status updates and blogs.

    If you’d like to learn more or if there is something we can do to help improve your experience here, we are more than happy to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have about the site and/or your account.

    Thank you again for your feedback!

  7. blf says

    And we have the first(?) troll (“empowrsupport”@8)!
    After reading that drivel, why anyone would want to have anything to do with such an obvious fraud is beyond me.