Our very own merlinicorpus posted the forum link to digg.com. I don't take threats well, so I have no issues with exposing this scammer. If you head over to the thread, you will see the digg army has spearheaded a movement to get this scammer off the internet. Lots of details have been discovered from previous employees, current lawsuits he may be facing, and a slew of other interesting information.
The following day, Brad sends me an IM saying "I told you to delete it". By it, he meant the thread. Again, this wasn't going to happen. He proceeds to let me know that India is going to make me pay and that digg.com was his perfect marketing plan. To this day, I still haven't felt Brad's Indian fury.
Three days later on March 26, 2007, Brad issued an apology on his site for his actions. If you read the full thread, you can probably guess how this apology was laid out. It spanned various topics, went off on numerous tagents, and yet nowhere explained what had happened to the original customer's laptop or money.
The member who was scammed is currently fighting with his bank to get his money back. If this falls through, further legal action will be taken. Keep an eye on the thread to see how this story will finally end. I will update this thread as more information is available.
Final note: This entire article was put together using IM logs of conversations between GideonX of GideonTech.com and Brad Burns of Zio Systems. None of the information in this article nor in our forum thread was fabricated. We are not working for Zio Systems and have no relationship with their business practices. We are here to try and get money back for our forum member who was scammed by Zio Systems. If you have any information you would like to share, please post it in this thread or email me directly if you wish to remain anonymous.
Update March 28, 2007
A user on our forums registered the domain mymarketingeffortswilldominateyourface.com, a reminder of the phrased used by Brad in this post. The site gathered all the public domain information that was revealed in the thread on our site. The registrant of the domain was emailed by Zio Systems regarding a pending lawsuit that Brad and company plan to execute against the site. The site is now currently redirecting to this article until more information is known.
The user dw5304, who was scammed by Zio Systems, was told by his bank that his chargeback was denied. It seems since he was the one who made the transaction, the request to chargeback was not accepted. Following this news, he then called Zio Systems, who answered the phone and asked for his name. He was then promptly hung up on.
Update March 29, 2007 Part 1
Brad posted a new update on his site with information about an impending lawsuit against our site. Supposedly, because we posted untrue information about his sham of a company. Bill, which is mentioned to be his corporate lawyer, will be handling all the details.
To repeat what was mentioned earlier, the information on this site was all retrieved through public domain sources. Also, as of 10AM Eastern, the user who purchased a laptop from Zio Systems still has not received a refund. Zio Systems has still refused to comment about this issue, nor issue a refund.
Update March 29, 2007 Part 2
I have spoke to a previous friend who worked with Brad on the site. As soon as he saw what Brad was doing (scamming), he immediately removed himself from Zio Systems.
Here are the points we touched on during the conversation:
- Brad has some issues he needs to deal with
- He has driven his parents crazy with his antics
- He was kicked out of the house when he was 17-18
- Once he was 18, he stopped taking his meds
- Brad took out an $18,000 ad in Computer Shopped, which was paid for by money he stole
- From initial estimates, Brad had about 2-3 sales per day since the site opened. NOTHING has ever been shipped.
- All the pictures and descriptions on the site are stolen from other e-tailers.
- This friend of Brad's found out about what Brad was doing and immediately removed himself from Zio Systems. He also reported his activity to the FBI.
- Brad's imaginary lawyer 'Bill' is actually a ex-friend's father, who ironically will be prosecuting Brad in the very near future.
We will be posting AIM logs between this person and Brad, which clearly shows Brad knowingly commited fraud.
Update March 29, 2007 Part 3
Last update for the night, I swear. A source that was close to Brad that worked with him at Zio Systems has sent a transcript of a conversation. It clearly states what type of business Zio Systems was trying to be:
ZioHelp: Essentially, you take enough money to pay the bills and the for the business.
ZioHelp: For the first few months you make a 7-9 day delivery policy that the customer agress to when purchasing.
ZioHelp: That way after 9 days, the unhappy customer will retrieve their money via chargeback.
ZioHelp: The average chargeback is $75.00 + the amount of money they spent.
ZioHelp: I made a list of everything that was a one time payment,
ZioHelp: and everything that was reccuring..
ZioHelp: I couldn't get venture capital, so I thought what i'll do is borrow the money from the customer,
Update March 31, 2007
dw5304, the user who was scammed on our forums by Brad Burns of Zio Systems now has a case number from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation ICS (FBI). You may see the case numbers in the thread.
Update April 1, 2007
Some folks have been speculating if this is some kind of April Fools joke. Let me assure you, it is not. I don't have the insanity to come up with this kind of material.
ben_man587 on our forums just posted two links to a scan he took from the May issue of PC World. There is a two page ad for Zio Systems. If Zio Systems can pay for this ad, they sure can refund their customers that they have ripped off!
Ad page #1
Ad page #2
If anyone else has this issue in the mail, can they confirm this ad truely does exist in May's issue of PC World?
Update April 2, 2007
Bru433 has confirmed that the PC World ad exists on page 16 and 17. For an idea of how much money this kind of advertising cost, please view PC World's rate card.
Update April 3, 2007
Another user has confirmed the two page ad in PC World. Also of note is that the Zio Systems website is down as of 7:00PM Eastern. No information is available yet as to why. Possibly the host finally received legal reason to suspend the site?
Update April 5, 2007 Part 1
sieteseven has obtained publically available court documents regarding Brad's court date last week. You can view the scans in the thread.
Information has also surfaced that a local business which was scammed of an estimated $10,000 has filed a lawsuit against Zio Sys and/or Brad. More details will be updated once they are available.
Update April 5, 2007 Part 2
If you have been following the thread, you will know that TonyT has gone ahead and helped DW get a laptop. Due to Brad wrongfully using TonyT's name on his site as an employee, TonyT is going to come through with a laptop for DW. The laptop will arrive next Tuesday according to this post.
To re-state what we know, TonyT has never worked for Brad nor have they ever done any kind of business together. Kudos to TonyT for stepping up!
Update April 5, 2007 Part 3
PC World has responded to inquiries regarding the ads. You can view the response here.
Update April 6, 2007
imitator on our forums has received a reply from Sprint/Nextel regarding the use of their network to scam customers. The email reply is posted here.
Update April 10, 2007
jackpostcoast has confirmed another Zio ad has been spotted in CPU Magazine.
Update April 14, 2007
Brad (Espeed) is back in the thread posting some odd rants. One post in particular is his admission to committing fraud on the credit card companies.
Update April 19, 2007
brokenantimatter has something of interest to report regarding the scam that Zio Systems is running. He obtained a gift VISA to test out Zio Systems business. He ordered about $90 worth of equipment and was told it will shipped in a few days.
A few days later, these items showed up on the gift card statement:
04/15 74071932A00XTMJHB PAYMENT - CERTIFIED FUNDSLAS VEGA NV - 20.00
04/15 PURCHASES, CASH ADVANCE - 02.16
04/15 242263829AG2FZB3T WAL-MART #3894 LEXINGTON, KY - 17.63
Update April 20, 2007
rara has posted stating they sent in a computer to Zio Sys to remove a virus. It has now been two months and the computer still has not been returned.
Update April 23, 2007
warmech has done a great re-cap of all the new updates in the thread. Since the information comes and goes at quite a fast pace, this is a good way to catch up.
Update April 25, 2007
Sophie used to work with Brad on a gaming server a while back. It seems Brad has had a history of stealing money and creating lies.
ziggo0 also used to work with Brad on a gaming server. He's confirmed Brad has stolen donation money from players.
Update April 27, 2007
almaden has sent word and a scan or two with some new Zio Systems ads in the latest issue of Laptop magazine. As of 4/27/2007 7PM Eastern, Zio Systems website is down. Their phone number is also out of commission.
Brad is also set for arraignment on a non-related charge as seen on the Kentucky Court Records site.
Update July 8, 2007
Not much to update, but Brad has been in and out of a mental hospital it seems. He has started a new website which details a re-release of Ziosys.com on July 1st 2007. That date has come and past and nothing has surfaced.
Espeed (Brad) has also popped back into our forums to mention that he's now a multi-millionaire and will be going on vacation.
Another magazine has come forward with details on Ziosys.com and Brad's non-payment of ads run in the publication.
Update July 17, 2007
Another prior employee of Brad/Ziosys has come forth with some details.Update July 18, 2007
Brad is back to comment a little on the Lazer Spa scam.
Update August 13, 2007
The Inside Connection magazine has come forward with some information on how Brad/Ziosys scammed them for advertising space.
Update August 13, 2007
Another person scammed has come forward.
Update September 25, 2007
Brad/Ziosys has been actively adding affiliate/partner links of companies. NZXT, makers of cases, have come forward and officially cut ties after learning of Ziosys.com's fraudulent past.