Big Idea Mastermind Scam Exposed – Vick Strizheus Pulls You Into The Empower Network Pyramid Scam

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$25.00 + $19.95/month + UPSELLS

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On June 20, 2014
Last modified:July 25, 2016


Big Idea Mastermind is a Pyramid Scheme. Avoid or you will lose your money

BIM (Big Idea Mastermind) Opens Tomorrow! What The Heck, Is This The Second Coming Of This Scam?

Vitaly “Vick” Strizheus is at it again! Big Idea Mastermind has been around since early 2013. BIM is a trainings course that teaches internet marketers how to get massive traffic to their websites.

At the initial release of this program, Vic charged a recurring fee of $45 to join. But this is just for a membership at the “basic level” and the new members were immediately informed that, at this level, the training is not really good and they will not make some decent money.

Vic’s intention was to have members upgrade to higher levels with better training and the promise of making “boatloads of money”.

Level 2 cost a meager $500.00, Level 3 just $1,000.00 and the best, the “all-in-level”, a whopping $3,500.00.

There have been many complaints from folks that bought in for $45.00, that they have NOT been informed of the nasty and significant upsells BEFORE they joined this program. Many decided not to take these offers and simply requested a refund and left. I cannot blame them a bit for jumping ship.

The Second Coming Of Big Idea Mastermind:

On June 9, 2014 I received an email from no other than Vick Strizheus. I am going to show you just 2 screenshots and explain the significant points


big idea mastermind sales email screenshot2big idea mastermind sales email screenshot1






Vick states that…………

 “he knew that Big Idea Mastermind would be a huge success but he didn’t expect people virtually DEMANDING he let them in BEFORE the doors actually opened”.

Continuing, he let’s me know that he had a “Vision” – but he will tell me tomorrow. Bummer, I was getting hyped up and wanted to know about his vision.

Then I learn that “Beta-Testers” of his visionary system  made between $15,000.00 and $250,000.00 in just 60 days. WOW, WOW and WOW.

Lastly, and not surprising at all, the BIG offer: If I hurry up tomorrow, I will “get in absolutely free”, but only in a short period of time.

Throughout the email are links to the very important video in which Vic is going to show me (I can look over his shoulders, he writes) how he made 1.2 million dollars in just 90 days.

Nothing in this email comes as a surprise. It is full with the usual hype building BS all the internet scammers are using to get unsuspecting folks to buy into their con.


What’s Up With This “Pupil Mark Soto” BS?


Actually, there are links to 3 different videos within the email. Choose #3 because that will get you to the heart of this scam. The video that will greet you shows Vic sitting in a flashy car, which obviously is a rental because of the white sticker on the key.

But that’s beside the fact. The video runs for over 1 hour so I choose to look around the page. Just below the video, you will see another link, and below that the picture on top of this article.

May I introduce you to YOUR SPONSOR Mark Soto?


Big idea mastermind scam partners
Mark Soto & his “Mentor” Vick Strizheus!


If you decide to join Big Idea Mastermind, Mark Soto will be the one that gets your hard earned money. Maybe Vic gets a share of it also, but I can’t say that for sure, so I don’t.

I need to direct your attention to what Mark Soto has to say: “Vick Strizheus is his “MENTOR”. I am wondering why Mark Soto needs a mentor……..he is already a “Master Scammer”, being one of the few “Top Potatoes” over at Empower Network, one of the worst pyramid schemes ever operated in the online industry.

Allow me to say a view words about those two characters before explaining in detail why Big Idea Mastermind is a scam.

is big idea mastermind a scamVitaly “Vick” Strizheus

The fact that Vick is a felon, convicted of “Grand Theft”, is well known. You can find videos about the case on You Tube and a clip by Vick himself trying to explain his mistake.

However, Vick simply found different ways to swindle people out of their money. In the past years, Mr. Strizheus created, endorsed and promoted several obvious scam products. Here are details of some of them.


Global Success Club – monthly recurring cost of $97.00 plus several upsells

Hyped up system to make $100,000.00 in 90 days – thousands of daily clicks on pre-defined websites using his program “Instant Traffic Media”.

Program “full” and existing members can’t access the program, no reason given.

7 Figure Marketing School – monthly recurring membership fee $67.00

 Video Training Courses to teach everything about marketing, online & offline

 Website no longer exists

High Traffic Academy  (I call it “High Cost Scam”)

3 levels of Membership – Standard: $497.00 one-time, Elite: $1.00 first month, after $297.00 per month, VIP: $997.00 one-time at time of signup, $4,997.00 after that.

Program closed, no reason given.


 This is what you see at their websites!

As you can see, Vick Strizheus cannot be trusted. What we are looking at here is, in my opinion, outright criminal. I just wonder why this person is allowed to continue doing business on the internet. I read nearly one hundred complaints from people which lost their money by joining Vick’s scams. Some of them not just a couple of “Franklins” but significantly higher amounts.


Mark Soto

Mark soto internet guru scammer
Mark is laughing all the way to the bank

Mark is a prominent member of the inner circle of Internet Guru Scammers. This is a group of folks planning their activities for years ahead. They are promoting each other products in a never ending cycle of different scams.

Mark’s best known product is the “All Done For You System”. Here is how he markets his program:

“Dear friend,

Imagine having a completely automated system that cranks out $27-$127 Clickbank commissions 24 hours a day without you ever having to lift a finger!

Sounds too good to be true?

It’s not. Because that’s what happens when you tap into a million dollar market with a sales funnel that gives them exactly what they want!

If you’ve been looking for a real working method to make money on autopilot, I’ve got some great news for you, your search is over…

I’m offering you the unique opportunity to take my most successful Clickbank sales funnel and use it as your own.[ ………………..]”


Sounds too good to be true? It sure is! It’s pure hype and another big load of BS. He uses the basically worthless system as sales funnel for Empower Network. Mark is a very high member of the EN Pyramid hierarchy; if not the #3 behind Dave Wood & Dave Sharpe, he definitely belongs to the top 10.


What Exactly Is Big Idea Mastermind

Vick Stritzheus has put together a trainings program which covers

  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Website creation
  • Traffic generation
  • Email marketing

Grudgingly, I have to admit that the course is not half-ass bad at all. Some segments of the training could be useful for internet marketers to promote other affiliate. If you are looking for a real and legit program, check out my #1 learning center.

Vick’s main focus, however, is the generation of high volume traffic to your website. The techniques he uses will work, if applied properly. The downside though is, Vick is deceiving his audience.

He does NOT tell you that you need a generous budget to use his methods. Vick is not generating organic traffic through search results, rather pays for traffic with pricey ad campaigns. A well planned ad campaign can cost you several thousands of dollars.


Why Is Big Idea Mastermind A Scam?


It all starts with the sales presentation. The series of three videos are full of misleading information, outright lies, fake testimonials and unrealistic promises of income potential.

When you decide to enter “the other side”, you will see this web page:


big idea mastermind sales page
It’s all there: 4 Free Systems Only today. the TIMER and the HYPE


  • Lie: The site will be open for a just a few hours. Well, first time I logged on to the site was June 9, 2014. Today, two  weeks later, the site is still up and running.
  • Lie: The timer is set for 2 hours. Supposedly, you only have 2 hours to join, or “you are out, sorry you missed out.” However, when you leave and come back later on, the timer resets at 2 hours again.
  • Lie: Today Only: 4 Free Systems for joining TODAY only! Enough said
  • Biggest Lie: It is FREE. You tell yourself that you don’t have nothing to lose and decide to join. So, you click on the link to receive your FREE system.  Sorry, but you find out that ……………..


DESPITE the spoken and written promise that Big Idea Mastermind is FREE…..



big idea masterrmind hides upsell
Look at this very closely. Do you see how they try to scam you?


What is going on here, you may ask. You are being scammed is what’s going on. Technically, you will get BIM for free, BUT at the same time you are being forced to enroll, on the entry level, in the Empower Network Scam. It is getting even worse.

Look at the “Purchase Page” again, will you?  Right lower corner, underlined in red, Vick tells you “All of this for $25.00“. Really? The EN Viral Blogging System cost you $25.00 per month (circled in red). But wait, there are Terms & Conditions in a little box. Nobody ever reads them, it seems.

You will have to read through quite a lot of “mambo-jumbo” until you get to the real interesting part. If you sign up for the entry level at $25.00 today, you automatically agree to the following monthly subscription:


  • Viral Blogging System $25.00/month
  • Media Hosting $25.00/month
  • Inner Circle $100.00/month
  • and if that is not enough already, some small print below (to the left of the red STAR) $19.95/month if you checked the Affiliate Program box. This is really outrages! They make you pay $20.00 a month so you can peddle their useless and outdated e-books, for crying out loud.


From FREE to $25.00/month to $170.00/month in one quick, smooth, elegant and totally legal move. Since you have not read the Terms & Condition, and don’t feel bad about it because hardly anybody does, you did not know that you must cancel the “Free $25.00 deal” within 30 days.

The result: Your credit card will take a $170.00 hit and you don’t even know it.

The bad thing is that you have no grounds to dispute these charges because you missed the cancellation dead line.


Big Idea Mastermind Is Just A Vehicle To Promote Empower Network And Enroll New Members

Now that you are a new member of Empower Network, you are curious what awaits you. I am not writing a review about EN with this article, but will give you a brief overview ..

First off, understand that you are now a member of a massive and technically illegal Pyramid Scheme. However clever they are to hide this fact, EN is the biggest modern day pyramid scheme. MLM (Multi Level Marketing) is based on a pyramid system. Legal MLM’s generate income for their members by selling actual products or real services. And the money flow is UP > Down.

Illegal systems however, generate revenue by recruiting new members and the money flows Down>UP. They do not sell real products of provide services of value. They cover this up by providing their members with useless and cheap material to give away for free or sell for a discounted price. If you are interest about the inner workings of illegal pyramid schemes, read my DirectPayBiz Review.

As a member of BIM/EN you are promised to make huge amounts of money fast. In order to do so, you must enroll a lot of new recruits and also upgrade to different levels. In other words, if you want to make more money, you have to buy up into a higher level (they say you buy a better trainings course, or some nonsense like that).

There are 5 levels. Follow this link to Mark Soto’s site for all the details.

UPDATE: This site is no longer active


Your chances of making real money are slim to none. In a pyramid system like BIM/EN only 2% of all members make the money, from the other 98%, some make a little,  while  the majority is losing some of their investment.

Here is an Empower Network earnings statistic for January 1, 2013 – March 31, 2014 I found on the web by searching “empower network income disclosure


empower network income disclosure
Guess who is making the big bucks with this scam


I will leave it up to you to figure out who really makes the big bucks and what your chances are to even make a decent living with this scam.


My Conclusion to Big Idea Mastermindscam logo

First of all, Vitaly “Vic” Strizheus is a scammer and cannot be trusted. The same goes for the founders of Empower Network, Dave Wood and Dave Sharpe.

Their only intention and real is to suck out as much money as possible from their members. Folks like Mark Soto and a handful of others lucky enough to join this scam at the inception, are making most of the money.

I recommend to stay away and avoid this scam.


If you are looking for a legitimate and first class online training you can get it from my #1 recommendation.

Wealthy Affiliate is the only community in the world where you achieve an education in Online Business, build a reputation, interact with like-minded people, and have access to all tools required to achieve lasting success


John Worthy ProfileMy name is John and I help people start their own online business the right way. Have you had any experience with programs like BIM? If so, I would like to know about it. Please leave a comment in the box below. If you have any questions, just ask me. You also can send me an email:


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17 Responses

  1. vitalily the conman

    Vitalily Strizheus “VICK” is still con-man he scammed me into recruiting for commissions and never paid me. Hes been doing this for years even after 2007 conviction I would appriciate any info you could give me on him I have a good bit I am writing up an article on what he did to me and putting the emails that were sent to me and all the other proof i have and find! thanks! Lets put this scamming con-man in jail where he belongl!

  2. rob w

    Hi John,

    Vic is a at it again! How do you stop a con like this? He’s promoting a PPC Mastery Course. He has two so-
    called experts talking about google adwords(payperclick). There are 3 videos and the 4th which will be the big sale to join. here is the site. you have to sign up, but be warned.
    I’ll stick it out to the 4th one to find out the cost.


    • John Worthy

      No stopping it. Regulations are too lax. I am going to look into it myself as soon as another new project of mine is up and running.

  3. JOSE

    John thank you for respectively admonishing these losers who are probably affiliates who are ticked your are telling the truth on these scammers-your conscious is clean….

  4. Oh No

    Oh no…

    I recently found your site and added it to our class action lawsuit.

    You see….

    It’s illegal to start a fake blog and write fake reviews just to steal the SEO keywords and drive that traffic to your Wealthy Affiliate affiliate link…

    Knock Knock!!! Here they come….

    • vitalily the conman

      Its illegal to scam people! Its also illegal to collect insurance commissions by making up fake names and putting them on applications! sound familiar asshole! Dont be mad that U guys are getting exposed! Tell vitalily I said HI 🙂 I tried to give him as much time to atleast email me back after scamming me!

  5. Jenifer

    Thanks for posting! I was helped by your information so I could convince my husband it was a scam. He was ready to sign up and I warned him but, he wouldn’t listen to me. Thankfully, you were all the proof we needed. I hope more people research and find your page before they are duped.

    • John Worthy

      Thanks Jennifer and tell your husband I said he needs to listen to you more often. On the serious side, tell your husband also to read my #1 Recommendation. Wealthy Affiliate is worth taking a look at.

  6. dandymarketer


    i was about to join a gb for hta elite. But now i saw this and other scam articles on vick. So it means that I should not join hta gb?
    Its not worth it?


    • John Worthy

      Dear Janet, if you believe a program that teaches people everything about internet marketing is a scam, then I am part of a scam.
      If you believe a program that offers FREE membership and TWO free websites to starter members is a scam, then I am part of a scam.
      If you believe a program in which free starters can remain free starters for as long as they wish, work 2 free websites and make money with them is a scam, then I am part of a scam.
      If you believe a program that charges $47 per month for Premium Membership that includes FREE hosting for my 7 websites is a scam, then I am part of a scam.
      And if you believe a program and company that is in business for over 10 years now and outlasted hundreds of REAL SCAMS (like BIM) is a scam, then I am part of a scam and did not even know it.

      I don’t care if you believe me or not, but let me say that much. If you believe that Mr. Strizheus, a convicted felon and perpetrator of several internet scams, now clinging to the remnants of Empower Network, the largest illegal pyramid scheme ever on the web, IS NOT SCAMMING people out of their hard earned money, you suffer from the disease “stupidity” and cannot be helped.

      Thanks for your comment

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