Yesterday, a curious link popped up on Wrestling Twitter which also showed up on Reddit an hour later: GlobalForceGold.info. Someone, and I’m not sure who it was, must have gone to the Global Force Wrestling website and seen the pop-over ad that it now serves up:
When you go to the GFW site now, there’s a ridiculous-looking pop-over ad for Global Force Gold. pic.twitter.com/u33o5RS3Xj
— David Bixenspan (@davidbix) April 8, 2016
For starters, whatever it is, in the welcome video (embedded above),Jeff Jarrett calls it “GlobalForceGold.com,” which is not a good sign when the domain is actually GlobalForceGold.info. In the video, he says that he, his family, his friends, and his fans are all joining “Team Jarrett” and that we can, too! The website explains that if you enter your name, email address, and phone number, you will be contacted about getting a free autographed photo and get an opportunity to watch a seven minute video.
So what the heck is it? If you just put in dummy information, you get this video, called “Karatbars Explained”:
What the heck is Karatbars? Well, their website has a frequently asked questions page. Apparently, they’re a German company that is a “bank-independent trading houses [sic] for merchandise and precious metals, especially Gold bullion in form of a card in small denominations.” Uh Oh. It looks like just one of many businesses trying to capitalize on various myths, conspiracy theories, etc. about owning gold…but with some kind of multi-level marketing layer added in. It doesn’t sound completely on the level, does it?
There are a number of websites proclaiming it to be a scam, with one self-proclaimed “scam buster,” Ethan Vanderbuilt, even calling it a “ponzi scheme.” Technically, it sounds more like a pyramid scheme, as it’s based on recruiting affiliates who will recruit more affiliates, with promises of unrealistic financial returns. On top of that, among many other red flags, Vanderbuilt claims that one purported “scam busting” site that’s pro Karatbars is actually a Karatbar affiliate in disguise, and he has this to say about the “Business Packages” that they sell:
[You get a] cardboard box. That’s it! A large, FedEx delivered cardboard box with less than 10% of the value of gold actually contained in the box. For example, the VIP box is almost U$ 2,300 (shipment and transaction ‘fees’ are extra charges) and you get 3 grams of gimmick gold (approximately U$ 180 in value) therefore 90% of what you paid for is the card board box.
There’s a whole lot more at his site and others, but you probably get the gist. Karatbar’s own site has an incredibly convoluted “marketing plan” (PDF) that makes it pretty obvious to anyone with a discerning eye what’s actually going on here. Being involved with something that sure sounds like a pyramid scheme is an absolutely terrible look for Jarrett, especially in 2016 when the general public is more educated about what to look for to identify scams than ever before.
As much skepticism as there’s been about him the last couple years, especially with how nebulous a concept Global Force Wrestling was early on, it’s not entirely surprising to see Jeff Jarrett doing something like this. Still, t’s still a bit sad to see him mixed up in such a blatantly suspicious venture.