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Second Life Visa Card - Is this a scam?


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So I saw an advert on my SL travels advertising the SL Visa Card, which can be ordered and sent to your home address with L$ for a one off  fee of 10,000L$ and then after that it can be loaded up with L$ inworld which are put on to the card and can then be spent in RL.  The company offering it are Podex Exchange who claim to be an official partner of LL.  This is the website address with info about the card: http://www.podex.nazwa.pl/card/

and this is the offical website of the company: http://www.podex.info/

It would be a useful thing to have, if it is for real but the question is has anyone heard of Podex Exchange and can they be trusted?

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Bumme Unplugged wrote:

... has anyone heard of Podex Exchange and can they be trusted?


PODEX was listed as a Third Party Linden Dollar Exchange on the Wiki (that page is now obselete; last update 12/2011).

Hard to say if it's a scam or not, really.

@Gadget: PODEX would ostensibly convert L$s deposited with them to local currency and load onto a pre-paid card. Ironically, one would probably not be able to use this card as a payment method in SL. :smileyvery-happy:

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Marigold Devin wrote:

And I love your name (I wish LL would bring back last names). Superbly imaginative. :matte-motes-big-grin-evil:

OT but I need to say this: YES! Give us last names back, pleaaaaaase. Or how about individual names so everyone can choose his own lastname. :matte-motes-big-grin:

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RyanEric wrote:


Marigold Devin wrote:

And I love your name (I wish LL would bring back last names). Superbly imaginative. :matte-motes-big-grin-evil:

OT but I need to say this: YES! Give us last names back, pleaaaaaase. Or how about individual names so everyone can choose his own lastname. :matte-motes-big-grin:

https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/SVC-7125

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Aww thanks guys, I wasn't sure if it was genuine or a scam myself and probably would never have done it without confirmation but needed a second opinion on it. 

 

Yeah and as for ma last name, well that started out as a dare but then guess what I got hooked on SL so it kinda stuck xD

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Charolotte Caxton wrote:


RyanEric wrote:


Marigold Devin wrote:

And I love your name (I wish LL would bring back last names). Superbly imaginative. :matte-motes-big-grin-evil:

OT but I need to say this: YES! Give us last names back, pleaaaaaase. Or how about individual names so everyone can choose his own lastname. :matte-motes-big-grin:


Thanks, Charolotte, for having that link to hand - I was just about to go and dig it out.

To RyanEric, click on the link that Charolotte has given you, and add your name to this JIRA feature request.  The more people who add their name/vote/watch, the more chance there is LL will bring back Last Names. :matte-motes-big-grin:

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The last I heard LL had looked into bringing back last names and after that "looking into, the ditched the idea.  I'm not sure any JIRA is going to change their minds.......probably not.  As for picking any last name for your avatar I'm sure that is out the window too (it would be easier for LL to supply a list of last names than to allow any last name someone wanted).  I'm afraid the last names we have now is what we are going to have for the foreseeable future.  For those of us who created accounts before Display Names were given to us we probably should hang onto them like they were gold.

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Ok so I just spoke to Jacek Shuftan from Podex , who I must say was exceedingly nice and pleasant, he didn't seem like a scammer at all I must say, very professional and helpful.  Anyway he says he has been on SL since 2006 and that Podex are listed as an official 3rd party Linden exchange company with Linden Lab's, he also completely understood my reticence at not wanting to risk parting with 10K of my hard earned L$, and I have to say I did feel more reassured by his manner.

 

However, as I told Jacek I will be checking with Linden Labs, and he did encourage me to do so, he said that he himself would feel the same way, so if it checks out with LL then it seems to me that this will be a rather useful product for me to exchange some of my L$ earnings for RL cash on a prepaid card after all.

 

Just thought I'd update and let everyone know of the latest developments, I will also update after I manage to contact Linden Labs and let everyone know of their response.

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Hello all,

I am the owner of Podex Exchange, the ‘scam company’ who offers VISA card for avatars as well as buy or sell lindens. I can perfectly  understand the doubts that avatars have so let me explain some of them.

1)  PODEX VISA CARD.

It is a new product on Second Life market offer so it is normal it can look suspicious, especially for people who never used Podex service. Here is some clarification.

Podex card, and Podex Exchange itself,  is in no way connected with Linden Lab, but it is a real, plastic VISA card with PIN code etc. Of course there are no lindens on it but real money,  as lindes are not official currency ( not yet… J.

The card works in a simple way – you pay lindens, lindens are exchanged to real currency (USD, EURO, GBP), card is loaded  and  than you spend real money in real life.

2)     Is Podex a scam?

Well, it is really hard to prove that  Podex is not a fake company and I am not a scammer myself, but I will try to do it anyway

Some basic fact.

I, Jacek Shuftan, logged in SL in 2006 and started Podex Exchange in 2007. I do not think that it is possible to cheat people for so many years and not get banned.

Podex Exchange is published on Linden Lab list of third party exchanges http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Archive/Third_Party_Linden_Dollar_Exchanges .  You are right, the list is not updated but would Linden Lab list a fake company, even  in the past?

Apart from financial  business activity we also run no profit Second Life movies web page http://www.secondmovie.com/  I am also an animator and some of you could use my animations in-world. This is rather not typical for swindlers.

We support many SL aimed projects  e.g. http://slnewser.blogspot.com, http://www.slenquirer.com.  Ask their editors about Podex.

There is no place to put all facts in one post  so contact me inworld or here and I promise to answer all questions.

To finish my too  long post.

Personally, I hate thieves in all worlds  and I advice everybody to fight with them, just for our own good.  I report them in SL and hope you will do the same with everybody  who you  suspect.  Sure, it also includes me so if you believe that there is something not fair with me or my company  I ask you to write a report.

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Of course it could be a plug for a biz.  But it also could be exactly what was stated too............a clarification.  I mean, after all, there were suggestions about the business being a scam.  It's not out of the realm that a person would take the time to try to stem those suspicions voiced here.  Do as the OP is going to do (and what the "biz" plugger suggested) and check with LL before you continue with the implications of scamming.  Scamming is a pretty serious accusation....not to be tossed out lightly.

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... just my attempt at a little humor & to use the word plug in a sentence.

----------------------

If you had added that in your post I would probably have giggled.  You didn't so I took what you said for what you said. 

In a forum no one has the luxury of seeing facial expressions or body language..........it's all words.  Words have meanings depending on the context where those words are used.  Your words said that it was a plug for his/her business....which may or may not be true.  But using the same logic I used for your post, I had to take the poster's words for what they said (in the context of where he/she said it).

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I don't think PodEx, as a company, is a scam.  They have been around a long time, and use the LL Exchange Risk API (as all reputable third party $L exchanges do.)

I have a number of questions about their "VISA Card" product however.  My feeling is that this card is not actually associated with VISA, and I am not at all sure PodEx has permission to use the VISA name and logo.  The product appears to be a method of exchanging $L for local real world currency easily and without the wait or per-transaction fees you get when using the Lindex and PayPal.  However, there ARE fees...a rather hefty fee to purchase the card in the first place, a $2.00 ATM cash advance fee, and possible fees for currency exchanges (the card is a Polish card, and its native currency is the zloty, or whatever they're using in Poland.)

The full user agreement is only available in Polish.  Talk about your fine print!  (This is not, by the way, an unheard of practice.  For multinational companies, the native language version of the user agreement is generally accepted to be the "true and binding" version, to avoid arguments in court about translations.)

Plus there is the problem that all third party $L exchanges have...the best rates are generally found on the Lindex.

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Lindal Kidd wrote:

My feeling is that this card is not actually associated with VISA, and I am not at all sure PodEx has permission to use the VISA name and logo.


I don't know why you would say that. They appear to be using the services of Bank Zachodni WBK (one of the three largest banks in Poland) to offer this product, which I imagine has partnered with Visa (or Visa Europe, although the English abstract of their user agreement states that the distributor of the card is Podex L.L.C., Wilmington, DE) to avail their customers with the convenience of Visa cards, much as my own bank does.

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Whenever I have a row with my wife it always finishes that the guilty one is me.  If I did not answer Bumme doubts  I would be a scammer.  If I answered, I am accused of shameless plug. Why do I always have to be a loser?!  :-)

Here come ans wers  for your questions, sorry that do not directed personally.

I do hope I explained that Podex Exchange is not a fake company and I am not scammer myself. 

Let’s go to Bank Zachodni WBK. You can just google this company to find out that this is Polish bank but as a matter of fact part of Banco Santander, the biggest financial institution in euro area.

Does Bank Zachodni really sell this card? Unfortunately the description of this product is only in Polish but goggle translator works well with this page – just have a look to be sure that it does. VISA CARD

Does Podex have permission to use VISA logo? No, and we do not need it because Podex does not produce this card, we are only resellers. If you sell Mercedes car on ebay it has Mercedes logo but you do not need Mercedes permission.

Are there any fees for the card? Sure, you can find them on card web page in the Fees and Limits part.

Is there a fee for currency exchange? No, the card can be in EURO, USD or GBP (not in Polish zloty) so if you use one of these currencies you are not charged for exchange.

What is the binding card agreement? Unfortunately, Polish version. I can not change it, because as I said, Podex is only reseller, not issuer of the card.  Of course you will receive printed form of the agreement with the card.

Is 3rd party exchange always more expensive than Lindex? For instant purchases : price for 1000 LS on Market Buy (Lindex) – 4,34 USD,  price in Podex Exchange – 4,20 USD.

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First, In any virrtual world like Second Life, Entropia, Even in MMORPG's like World OF Warcraft, there is Real Money Trading. Now what this means is that you can Sell your money or any product for real money outside of the service for example if you gogle Second Life Linden Dollars, or Second Life Gold. However Linden Lab is not responsible for any Scams, or loss of money that is not purchased directly from www.secondlife.com .

Second, I can't say for sure if this is a Scam or not as you would be buying at your own risk, however it is possible to have a in world Visa/Banking system so to speak even if Linden Lab doesn't allow it for example a scripted web server, or database which allows a user to register an account, then gives them an account number similar to a visa, and from there they can deposit money in SL, and cash it out through a third party service which that company then sends them money or something, although it is not 100% safe, and either way You Could Be Scammed, LL is not responsible for this.

Third, Do not trust Giftcards, Giftcards in Second Life are easily to get scammed from any creator in SL that sells giftcards can scam you, for example you mite purchase one then it no longer works, and they are not required to give you your moeny back or anything like this of course it would make for bad business but still its possible, or for example you wait too long and the store closes, or something happens you loose your money. Give your L$ directly to a friend if you want to gift money its more safe, or gift the items. I am not saying that creators do this because I know quite a few that I would trust, but its at your own risk.

Fourth, Do not use Vendor systems with known exploits, even some of the big vendor systems have exploits which allow users to use comission vendors to get free items in fact I told some companies about this exploit in the past they said "We do not care" The safest system I currently known of is Casper Vend.

In addition, Do not trust Objects, even sell vendor systems with L$ permission because one day thousands of people in SL could wake up with all their money gone, and technically it wouldn't be illegal if this happend because.

1. You gave the object permission.
2. They cash out before LL suspends their account.
3. they could have the L$ sent to any avatar via webscript.

Also know when you use vendors for example YOU can't see the scripts yourself so you never know what is really hiding in them.

Just some key facts to remember, Watch yourself in Second Life, maybe use an alternate account in SL with a very good secret question, and long password to store your L$ on that has no objects in world with debit permissions this way should this ever happen to you you don't loose everything.

I am not saying that this will happen to anyone, but in general be very careful of scams, and know that granting permission to an object, or any third party services is at your own risk.

 

The Safe way to handle all transactions is through Linden Lab not third parties unless you want to risk being played for a fool.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just to let everyone know, I have since received my Podex Visa card in the mail and I am super pleased.  Initially I had a problem loading the card (on my end because I didn't understand the instructions lol) and Jacek Shuftan, CEO of Podex was extremely polite and helpful, coming online within minutes of me sending him an offline IM asking for help.  I am more than impressed with not only the concept of this extremely useful way of extracting my hard earned L$ if I need to and converting them into Rl cash but also the customer service from Podex, which i have to say has been above and beyond.

 

jacek has been nothing but polite to me , even when accused of being a scammer, he kept his dignity and simply tried to point out that this was in fact not the case, adn point ot examples of how podex could be proven to be a reputable company.

 

I write this post today not as some sort of plug for the product, lest the naysayers accuse me of doing so, but because I wish to disperse any doubt that may have been cast on to Podex's reputation by my original post.

 

Simply put, I'd like to say thanks to Podex and Jacek for being patient with me helping me out.

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  • 7 months later...

NOT a scam.

I've been a happy Customer for several months now,
I live at Curacao, and made payments at stores, used atm withdraws,xbox live account 
no problems at all.

service by email is correct and okey.

One and only fail was skype.
but thats skype level of service..

Card expires at 7/14.

Regards,

Cor

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