Users of the popular dating and social networking apps Bumble and TikTok in Australia are being warned to be aware of users building relationships with them in order to persuade them to join the Blue Tongue Tradehouse multi-level marketing investment scheme.
Current Blue Tongue operators have approached users of the networks, posing as friends, to sell them foreign currency trading software aimed mostly at teens, users of the networks have told The Australian Financial Review.
International Markets Live is a partner of the organisation, which is under investigation by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission for giving unlicensed financial advice.
Through online seminars and webinars, Blue Tongue partners with IM Mastery Academy, an International Markets Live firm, to teach members how to trade foreign currencies.
Bumble and TikTok users aren’t only being targeted as potential customers; Blue Tongue Tradehouse offers its members privileges and income that grow as they recruit more new members, a practise known as multi-level marketing.
Pyramid schemes, on the other hand, are illegal in Australia and do not sell any goods, instead relying solely on falsely advertised work opportunities to make money.
According to text conversations obtained by The Australian Financial Review, Blue Tongue Tradehouse members have used Bumble BFF, an offshoot of an international dating app that matches those seeking friendship rather than love, to tempt new recruits.
There is a need for’mentors.’
One 27-year-old woman told the Financial Review that she matched with Latoya, a 31-year-old Melbourne woman who didn’t divulge her work in Blue Tongue Tradehouse until after the two had matched for several days.
“Normally, I only talk to people on Bumble,” she revealed, “but she recommended we call after a day or two,” she continued, requesting anonymity.
After speaking with her twice on the phone, Latoya asked the 27-year-old lady if she would consider being a “mentor” for her blossoming business.
“She then mentioned Blue Tongue Tradehouse, claiming that it would be a great way for me to supplement my income outside of my job and that she had already made over $10,000.”
After the woman declined to participate, Latoya’s Bumble profile was swiftly deleted. In addition to Bumble, the Blue Tongue Tradehouse network includes TikTok, a popular Chinese-owned video sharing app.
Blue Tongue Tradehouse members use the app to share lifestyle content, which usually includes video footage of their trading displays.
A representative from Blue Tongue Tradehouse declined to respond when contacted.