So, can you really earn money for nothing? Well, there’s a new company in town promising just that. Read this Mofono review to see if it really is a legitimate way to earn or if it’s part of a scam.
Times are hard for nearly all of us at the moment, including me. That’s why I’m always looking for new ways to make money. As I always say, the less effort, the better.
A company recently came to my attention that promised some very easy money, which immediately grabbed my attention – Mofono. But what’s involved, who’s behind the company and is even legitimate?
How does Mofono work?
Mofono is an app that you can download to your Android phone (Apple users need not apply). Once downloaded, you give permission for the app to send text messages from your phone. You can select how many texts can be sent, up to a maximum of 2400 per month.
You can withdraw in £5 increments and to do this, you will need to take your phone and show a code at your local Post Office. Monfono uses a system called Payout Now.
There is a generous referral scheme too. For each friend you convince to join, you are paid an extra £5.
How does Mofono make money?
According to their website, texts are sent to their servers and this earns them money. Simple, isn’t it? If anybody would care to explain to me in detail how that actually makes money, I’m all ears.
Who is behind Mofono?
So, I had to rely on a visit to Companies House. This is always a useful tool for anybody trying to find some information about a company. A quick search found MOFONO MEDIA LIMITED, a company incorporated in September 2019.
The registered address is listed as: Lotherton Park Farmhouse, Copley Lane, Leeds, United Kingdom, LS25 3ED and the director as John Kitching, born July 1967.
The address is £1 million farm house. Not the usual place to find a company.
According to Companies House, John Kitching wasn’t registered as a director of any previous companies. This can be a good thing, as scammers will often set-up multiple companies and then close them down. But it didn’t give me anything to go on.
So I Googled the term “John Kitching Leeds” and found an interesting article. The story was printed in the Mirror back in 2006 and told of a man behind a parcel delivery scam. Unsuspecting victims in North Wales received a card saying that they had a parcel waiting to be delivered and to a call the number on the card. The problem was, it went through to a number in Belize and cost callers £8.
The man linked to the scam? John Kitching. The article also suggests the man could be known as John Timothy Kitching.
Further research found another article about a man named Tim Kitching. This man ran a company called Moby Monkey Ltd from an address in Leeds. This company sent out text messages, telling people they had won a £500 voucher. To claim, callers had to phone a premium rate line, only to find that the prize was a holiday voucher and they would have to spend more money to claim it.
Also, according to this page, Kitching had been linked to 6 other firms that had been forced into liquidation by the courts.
Interestingly, the article from 2002 states that Kitching was 35. Giving him an approximate birth year of 1967. I wonder if it was in July?
Is Mofono a scam?
Well, taking a look through forums, people do seem to be earning money from the app.
But ask yourself this. If your mate asked to borrow your phone to send a couple of thousand texts each month, would you let them? And if not, why would you let a complete stranger do it?
The fact is, we have no idea what these texts contain and where they’re really going.
I did find this on Reddit, which is concerning:
Generous referral schemes also have me slightly concerned. It’s not always a red flag, but it’s a great way for people to encourage others to sign-up to something.
And as Columbo used to say “one more thing”. Why get complete strangers to send texts and give them £10. There are plenty of contracts out there with unlimited texts for under £5.
But the Trustpilot score…
It is true, Mofono has a decent rating on Trustpilot. But the fact is, these scores can easily be manipulated. Take a look at how many reviews have been removed. Then take a look at how many positive scores are from people just sharing their referral code.
However, the reviews there did reveal something interesting. The user ‘David Wheatley’ explained the following about how Mofono works:
It texts numbers allocated to networks other than the one you’re using, causing your network to be charged an SMS termination fee.
As the message is basically garbage data, the termination fee is for nothing, the SMS gets thrown away by the other network or Mofono’s servers.
These numbers used by Mofono also have a higher termination fee. Instead of charging you, the member, your network swallows up this cost and provide the texts as part of your bundle.
It’s a question of how Mofono make money… The receiving networks are the ones who are getting the money, so how does that transfer over to Mofono? At about 2 Euro cents per SMS (in July 2018), Mofono give you 0.45p/SMS. All the rest is shared between the receiving network and Mofono it seems.
The most likely thing is that Mofono have bought some number ranges from each MNO under the agreement that they’ll charge Xp for every text. That results in excess charges for your network (more than a normal UK text), costing them £100s to £1000s.
In a nutshell…
• You will be barred if you use it
• It spams texts every 5 mins to other networks
• Your network gets charged at least 2 euro cents for each of these messages (which is a lot on the already thin margins)
• Mofono end up with a bunch of profit
• You end up with barely anything in comparison
• We’ll all end up with price rises if it was allowed to be used
My Mofono review conclusion
Do you know what, I could have made a decent profit from this site. I could have said that Mofono was an easy way to make money and to use my referral code. And having over 1000 visits to this post per month, that’s a lot of money.
As you can tell, I’m not comfortable with this at all. The name of the owner and previous scams could be a complete coincidence… but that does seem unlikely.
I also find it odd that the company uses Payout Now to send you money. Surely, PayPal or bank transfers would be far easier?
Personally, I would steer well clear of this one. Is it worth joining for a maximum of £10 per month? But what’s the worst that could happen? Well, if you remember your Latin – Ignorantia juris non excusat or ignorantia legis neminem excusat. Translated, it means “ignorance of the law excuses not” and “ignorance of law excuses no one”.
So if you had given permission for somebody to use your phone and they were scamming people, you could be prosecuted.
If you’re unsure whether joining Mofono is actually worth it (and I don’t blame you), but you still want to earn money from your phone, take a look at my MobileXpression review. This is a more established way of downloading software onto your phone and rewards you with Amazon vouchers.
Please note that there are more and more reports of mobile phone companies now suspending user’s accounts who have the Mofono app installed.
Best case scenario is this is due to the fact that the app is breaching the fair use policy. Worst case… I don’t care to guess.
Is it worth £10 per month?