What if I told you that you could make money by dialing a number and not even listening to what is said on the other end? And that it won’t cost you a penny because it’s included in your free minutes? Cashback4Calls sounds too good to be true… and it probably is. Take a look to see if this is a scam or an easy way to make money.
If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll know that I’m always on the hunt for new and genuine ways to make money. And the easier, the better.
Over the last couple of months, I have joined quite a few ‘work from home’ Facebook groups, to see what was out there. Many of these just seem to be set up to promote Multi-Level Marketing companies and don’t cover much else. I was even removed from one group for sharing the fact that I was earning over £500 per month from surveys because it didn’t seem to fit their criteria.
But anyhow, I don’t really have much of an issue with MLM, it’s whatever floats your boat. But beyond these posts, there are a few interesting topics that crop up now and again. They usually catch my eye because they usually say ‘100% genuine’ or ‘100% legal’. I remember applying for my first job at Sainsbury’s and I’m pretty sure they didn’t market it as 100% legal.
These adverts always peak my interest and make me want to dig a little deeper. I’ve always fancied myself as a bit of a Roger Cook character, looking into shady dealings. Although knowing who Roger Cook is, makes me feel quite old.
But the latest to catch my interest was Cashback4Calls
What’s on offer?
The post I saw said this –
Naturally, along with several others, I asked for more details.
After some questions through Messenger I was told this:
They will assign you numbers to call and you have a live dashboard so you can literally see how much you are earning each call. I upgraded to international saver for an extra fiver a month so I can make unlimited calls from one number which will seriously bump up your monthly income
Me: Ok, thanks. So how much do I earn from doing it and how long should I call for?
Okay so each call lasts about 30 minutes and ends automatically. It just clicks off or you hear ‘the other caller has cleared’. You just hang up and redial. Each number is limited to 246 minutes per day apart from the unlimited international numbers. With post office you can’t call the mobile numbers as you get charged but you can ask for an 0870 number which you get 1000 minutes per month. You don’t have to stay and listen to the calls as it’s just radio stations. It’s hard to determine the exact amount as depends how many calls you make but I’ll show you some screenshots of my earnings and dashboard. I will be making more now each month as I upgraded to international saver.
I was then sent some screenshots of how much this referrer was earning, and I was pretty surprised.
There were some pretty big totals, with one payment for over £400.
But one question I have and you might be thinking it too, why would you be paid just to call a number and not even listen? And why is it only for customers who belong to specific providers? So I decided to take a deeper look at the company.
Who is Cashback4Calls?
At a quick glance at the website, all looks well. It’s well written, it has a privacy page, a contact address and telephone number. They have a pretty good review too, but it’s not clear where they actually get their figures from.
The first step I always take is to check out the company on Companies House. This tells you who owns the company, where it’s based and how long it has been operating for.
But searching for Cashback4Calls returned nothing. So instead, I searched using the address they provided for Ruislip on their website. Well, that returned 14,520 results. Either it’s a massive building or there are lots of tiny people working there. But on closer inspection, I found that that the address given is just a virtual address and anybody can register their business there for just a few pounds.
A search on Google for Cashcback4Calls showed me a link to LinkedIn, where the CEO was listed as Chuck Martins. Apparently he had been the CEO there since 2005 – so it was quite an established company.
Back at Companies House, I searched for Chuck Martins and it came up with Chukwuemeke MARTINS, a German national resident in the UK. He was listed as a director at a company called ADIPORIUM LTD. The other director listed for this company was Nduka MARTINS, a Nigerian national resident in the UK. ADIPORIUM was also registered at the virtual address I mentioned above.
But, the company was only registered in August 2019, some 14 years later than Mr. Martin claims in his LinkedIn bio.
Checking further, through Companies House and neither of the directors were listed as being involved in any other companies.
A domain check
Another useful way of getting information is through a check of who owns the website and who hosts it. But running the site through who.is shows that all the information has been redacted. That means you can’t see who owns it, or even, who hosts it.
How does Cashback4Calls make money?
This isn’t completely clear and it’s certainly not explained on their website… which should make you slightly worried. Let’s me honest, how is there a legitimate way of making money by making a phone call and not having to listen to it?
And remember this. If somebody is making money, somebody else is spending it. If it’s not you, who is?
Here’s my theory
As I’m sure we’re all aware, many of us are given a certain number of minutes to make free calls each month – whether that’s on a landline or mobile phone. But the truth is, these calls aren’t really free and will cost your provider money. For example, if I was with BT and called my parents who are with Sky, Sky would pass a charge back to BT.
This isn’t usually a problem as the monthly fee you pay to your provider should cover any costs they incur.
But how could a 3rd party company make money from this?
Well, they can set up phone lines in foreign countries and charge close to premium rates. Of course, they wouldn’t set up full premium lines as these wouldn’t be included in free minutes. Customers call the number, listen (or not) and the phone line earns money.
Each month, this foreign phone line can then send a massive bill to the UK provider.
From what I can see, Cashback4Calls is only accepting customers from Virgin and Post Office as they offer more foreign calls compared to other providers, earning them more money.
What’s the harm?
Some people will read all this and only see the fact you can make money with no downsides. If you have unlimited calls written into your contract, what can they do?
All providers try to protect themselves from these kinds of scenarios and have a fair usage policy written in. If they feel that you are taking advantage of any of their terms, there’s a good chance that they will terminate your contract. They may even try to charge you until the end of your contract, as well as recoup any losses they have made.
At the moment, Cashback4Calls seems to have a small customer base, so these calls seem to be going unnoticed. However, as it becomes more popular, providers may start to clamp down.
In April 2020, I wrote about a company called Mofono. They offered money for using your unused text allowance. Although all went well for several months, with plenty of positive TrustPilot reviews, mobile companies suddenly realised that something was up. Some customers were lucky and were asked to remove the Mofono software by their provider without any penalty. However, others had their accounts banned outright.