Following dozens of complaints from consumers, the Norwegian Gambling Authority sent Be a warning letter last October.
The letter advised that the Gambling Authority suspected Be was an illegal pyramid scheme.
The Gambling Authority serves as Norway’s top financial regulator when it comes to MLM pyramid and Ponzi schemes.
BehindMLM has not seen a copy of the correspondence between the Gambling Authority and Be. As reported by E24 on March 3rd however;
The Authority writes that they have no basis to “determine finally that the business is illegal”, but that Be has “clear similarities with illegal pyramid schemes”.
The authority emphasizes that if the company operates illegally, both the company and the people who participate and advertise for it risk fines or imprisonment.
In order to determine whether Be operates illegally, Be would need to cooperate and provide the Gambling Authority with detailed records on their Norwegian customer data.
“If the turnover in the business in Norway is particularly linked to recruitment in the form of membership fees or overpriced goods, then the business will be considered an illegal pyramid-like turnover system in Norway”, writes the inspectorate.
As I understand it, the Gambling Authority has yet to put in an official request.
In response to the Gambling Authority’s October 2022 letter, Be denied operating as a pyramid scheme.
They reply that it is not necessary to pay to join, and that the members’ income comes exclusively from the sale of Be’s products – not from recruiting new members.
This is disingenuous. If the majority of Be’s product revenue is sourced from recruited distributors (getting paid on distributors they’ve recruited also buying products), then Be is indeed operating as a pyramid scheme.
E24 pressed Be on the Gambling Authorities pyramid concerns.
A representative for Be writes in an e-mail to E24 that they cannot state how many “distributors” they have.
As noted in BehindMLM’s Be review, Be makes no distinction between retail customers and recruited affiliates.
Your first red flag there is Be charging subscription tiers (Bronze/Silver/Gold), which don’t appear to affect the provided services.
What these tiers do affect is commission rates, making Be’s subscription tiers “pay to play”.
Pay to play in MLM is a strong indicator of a pyramid scheme, which Be most definitely is if the majority of subscription holders are affiliates.
Why would a retail customer switch between Bronze, Silver and Gold? They are locked out of the comp plan and, at least based on information provided by Be on their website, there’s no other difference between the subscription tiers.
Concerns in Norway follow multiple Be promotional events held over February 2023.
E24 has tried to get in touch with two Norwegian people who have contributed to Be events, and are themselves promoting the company in social media. They have not responded to the inquiries.
The next Be event in Norway was supposed to be held over March 25th and 26th, at the Oslofjord Convention Center.
On Friday afternoon, Oslofjord Convention Center informed E24 that they have now canceled the event.
The congress center justified the cancellation with the warning from the Norwegian authorities against Be.
Be is run by brothers Monir, Moyn and Ehsaan Islam, originally from the UK.
Monir and Moyn (right) were top promoters in the OneCoin Ponzi scheme, mostly targeting migrant communities.
After the Ponzi side of OneCoin collapsed in early 2017, the Islam brothers fled to Dubai.
Safe from authorities investigating OneCoin, the Islam brothers went on to launch Melius in 2018.
Melius pitched a $50,000 passive forex trading account for just $3000. Attached to this was a pyramid scheme compensation plan.
Melius collapsed in early 2020, prompting the Islam brothers to reboot as Better Experience, typically shortened to “Be”.
In what appears to be an attempt to dodge regulatory attention, Be continues to spawn new domain names to operate from.
Past and present website domains linked to Be include:
- befactor.com (original domain)
- be.club (current domain as of March 2023)
These domain names coincide with prior Be regulatory warnings from Canada and Colombia.
Be is believed to now be targeting Norway following the recent collapse of recruitment in Colombia, Guatemala and Italy.