Zeek Rewards and Zeekler are shut down and fans of the penny auction site and affiliate are wondering why.
UPDATE: The Secutiries and Exchange Commission shut down ZeekRewards.com, calling it a $600 million Ponzi and pyramid scheme. The site reportedly gave the false idea that the company was extremely profitable. "Most of ZeekRewards' total revenues and the "net profits" paid to investors have been comprised of funds received from new investors in classic Ponzi scheme fashion" the SEC said. More than one million customers had raised money for the site.
Owner Paul Burks agreed to settle the SEC's charges without admitting or denying the allegations. He will pay a $4 million penalty and relinquish his interest in the company.
The company behind these popular sites, Rex Venture Group, reportedly shut its doors at its headquarters in Lexington, North Carolina. The reason is not clear and even employees who showed up to the office were confused when the doors to the building were closed. Employees are as confused as users of the site are as signs on the window referred them to the website for further information. However there is no information available as of yet.
Those who visit ZeekRewards.com or Zeekler.com are presented with a message saying, "Zeek Rewards is currently unavailable. More information will be available shortly on this website." The message has been up since around 7:30am on Friday.
The site ZeekRewardsNews.com stated that they were cancelling its 'Red Carpet Wednesday' event.
The Dispatch attempted to speak to Paul Burks, chief executive officer of Rex Venture Group, and Dr. Clifton Jolley, the company's media representative, but neither could be reached to discuss the matter.
An anonymous source told The Dispatch that the headquarters were closed so Zeek could speak with the Attorney General as they were issued a Civil Investigative Demand (CID). A CID is a subpoena that is issued when a person or company has information that is relevant to an ongoing investigation, The Dispatch says.
Rex Venture Group has received several complaints about their websites since February and many were questioning whether or not their business model was legal. The Better Business Bureau gave the company an 'F' rating due to 38 complaints against the business. There are also 14 serious complaints against the business and the company failed to respond to at least three complaints made against them, according to the BBB. Most of the complaints are in regard to problems with the product or service.
Zeek Rewards is a private, invitation-only, affiliate advertising division for Zeekler. Zeekler is a penny auction site in which people can bid on products starting at 90 percent off retail prices.