Understanding the WakeUp Now Scam: A Controversial MLM Scheme

In recent years, multi-level marketing (MLM) schemes have gained both popularity and notoriety. One such scheme that has sparked controversy and garnered attention is WakeUp Now. Promising financial freedom and a unique business opportunity, WakeUp Now attracted a large following. However, as more information emerged, so did allegations of a scam. In this blog post, we will take a deep dive into the WakeUp Now scam, exploring its business model, controversy, impact on members, and ways to protect yourself from similar MLM schemes. Whether you’re considering joining an MLM or you’re already involved, it’s crucial to understand the inner workings of schemes like WakeUp Now and the potential risks they pose. So, let’s delve into the world of WakeUp Now and uncover the truth behind this controversial MLM scheme.

Introduction: A Brief Overview of WakeUp Now

WakeUp Now emerged on the scene as a multi-level marketing (MLM) company, presenting itself as an opportunity for individuals to achieve financial success and live a fulfilling life. Founded in 2009 by Troy Muhlestein, WakeUp Now quickly gained attention and attracted a significant following.

At its core, WakeUp Now claims to offer a wide range of products and services aimed at improving various aspects of life, including personal finance, health, and overall well-being. The company presented itself as a revolutionary platform that could empower individuals to take control of their financial destiny.

The allure of WakeUp Now lay in its promise of not only financial prosperity but also a sense of community and personal growth. The company emphasized the importance of personal development and encouraged members to embrace an entrepreneurial mindset.

Initially, WakeUp Now seemed to offer a unique opportunity for individuals seeking an alternative to traditional employment. The idea of being able to work from home, set one’s own hours, and potentially earn a substantial income appealed to many.

However, as with any MLM company, the true nature of WakeUp Now’s business model and its controversial practices soon came to light. Numerous allegations of deceptive practices, financial instability, and a pyramid-like structure began to surface, casting doubt on the legitimacy of the company.

In the following sections, we will delve deeper into the business model of WakeUp Now, explore the controversy and criticism surrounding the company, examine the impact on its members, and provide guidance on how to protect yourself from similar MLM scams. It is crucial to understand the WakeUp Now scam thoroughly to make informed decisions and navigate the complex world of MLM marketing. Let’s uncover the truth behind this controversial MLM scheme and shed light on the WakeUp Now phenomenon.

The Business Model of WakeUp Now

The success or failure of any MLM company heavily relies on its business model. Understanding the underlying structure and mechanics of WakeUp Now is essential to comprehend how the company operates and how it generates revenue. In this section, we will explore the business model of WakeUp Now, shedding light on its MLM structure and the products it offers.

Understanding Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)

Before delving into the specifics of WakeUp Now, it is crucial to grasp the concept of multi-level marketing (MLM). MLM is a marketing strategy employed by companies to promote and sell their products or services through a network of distributors. These distributors not only sell products but also recruit new distributors into the company, earning commissions from their sales and those of their recruits.

MLM companies often emphasize the potential for high earnings and financial independence, leveraging the enthusiasm and motivation of their distributors to drive sales and recruitment efforts. However, MLM structures have faced criticism due to their resemblance to pyramid schemes and the potential for financial loss among participants.

How WakeUp Now’s MLM Structure Works

WakeUp Now operates on a multi-level marketing structure, relying on a network of independent distributors to sell its products and grow the business. Distributors were encouraged to recruit new members into their downline, creating a hierarchical structure with multiple levels.

One of the main ways distributors earned income in WakeUp Now was through the sale of products. The company offers a range of products and services, including financial management tools, travel discounts, and wellness products. Distributors would earn a commission from the sales they made directly, as well as a percentage of the sales made by their recruits and their recruits’ recruits, creating a cascading effect.

To incentivize recruitment and maintain active participation, WakeUp Now employed various compensation plans, offering bonuses, incentives, and rewards to distributors who achieved specific sales targets or recruited a certain number of new members. These compensation plans often created a sense of urgency and competition among distributors, driving their efforts to recruit and sell.

While the MLM structure of WakeUp Now appeared to provide an opportunity for individuals to earn income, it also raised concerns about the sustainability and fairness of the compensation system. Critics argued that the focus on recruitment and the potential for earnings primarily from downline sales rather than product sales raised red flags and resembled a pyramid scheme.

The Product Line of WakeUp Now

WakeUp Now marketed a range of products and services aimed at improving various aspects of individuals’ lives. These products fall into several categories, including personal finance, health and wellness, and lifestyle perks. Some of the notable offerings included:

  1. Financial Management Tools: WakeUp Now provides software and tools designed to assist individuals in managing their finances more effectively. These tools aim to help users track expenses, budget, and save money.
  2. Travel Discounts: WakeUp Now offered discounted rates on travel and vacation packages, claiming to provide members with exclusive access to discounted flights, hotels, and other travel perks.
  3. Wellness Products: The company promoted various health and wellness products, including nutritional supplements, energy drinks, and weight management solutions. These products were marketed as assisting individuals in achieving better health and overall well-being.
  4. Educational Resources: WakeUp Now provides educational resources, such as personal development books and courses, aimed at helping individuals enhance their skills and knowledge in various areas of life.

While these products and services may have appeared appealing on the surface, critics argued that they were often overpriced or could be found elsewhere at more affordable rates. The focus on recruitment and building a downline overshadowed the emphasis on product sales, raising concerns about the true value and sustainability of WakeUp Now’s offerings.

In the next section, we will delve into the controversy and criticism surrounding WakeUp Now, exploring the allegations of being a pyramid scheme, financial instability, and the investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Understanding these issues is crucial to gaining a comprehensive view of the WakeUp Now scam.

Controversy and Criticism Surrounding WakeUp Now

WakeUp Now has been no stranger to controversy and criticism since its inception. Allegations of deceptive practices, financial instability, and being a pyramid scheme have plagued the company, raising concerns among both industry experts and consumers. In this section, we will explore the controversies surrounding WakeUp Now and the criticisms levelled against the company.

Allegations of Being a Pyramid Scheme

One of the primary criticisms directed at WakeUp Now is the allegation that it operates as a pyramid scheme. A pyramid scheme is an illegal business model that focuses on recruitment rather than the sale of products or services. Participants are often required to make an initial investment and earn money primarily through the recruitment of others into the scheme.

Critics argue that WakeUp Now’s MLM structure heavily emphasizes recruitment, with distributors earning a significant portion of their income from the sales made by their downline. This focus on recruitment, rather than product sales, raises concerns about the sustainability and legality of the company’s operations.

While WakeUp Now vehemently denied these allegations and maintained that it was a legitimate MLM company, the resemblance to a pyramid scheme and the concerns raised by industry experts and regulatory bodies cannot be ignored.

Financial Instability and Bankruptcy

Another controversial aspect of WakeUp Now is its financial stability. Over the years, reports surfaced indicating financial difficulties within the company, including failure to pay commissions to distributors and delays in fulfilling product orders.

In 2015, WakeUp Now filed for bankruptcy, further fueling concerns about the company’s financial viability. This bankruptcy filing left many distributors and customers with financial losses, as their investments and unpaid commissions were left in jeopardy.

The financial instability of WakeUp Now not only raised questions about the company’s management and financial practices but also highlighted the potential risks and vulnerabilities faced by individuals involved in MLM schemes.

Investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

The controversies surrounding WakeUp Now caught the attention of regulatory authorities, including the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In 2014, the FTC launched an investigation into the operations and practices of WakeUp Now, aiming to determine whether the company was engaging in deceptive or illegal activities.

While specific details of the investigation and its outcomes may vary, the fact that the FTC saw fit to investigate WakeUp Now added weight to the criticisms and concerns surrounding the company.

The controversy and criticism surrounding WakeUp Now have had a significant impact on its reputation and the trust placed in the MLM industry as a whole. In the next section, we will delve into the impact of the WakeUp Now scam on its members, examining the financial losses suffered, repercussions on personal relationships, and the psychological impact of MLM scams. Understanding these effects is crucial to grasp the full extent of the WakeUp Now controversy.

The Impact on WakeUp Now Members

The WakeUp Now scam not only affected the reputation of the company but also had a profound impact on its members. In this section, we will explore the various ways in which WakeUp Now members were affected, including the financial losses suffered, repercussions on personal relationships, and the psychological impact of MLM scams.

Financial Losses Suffered by Members

Many individuals who joined WakeUp Now did so with the hope of achieving financial success and improving their lives. However, for a significant number of members, this dream turned into a nightmare as they experienced substantial financial losses.

The MLM structure of WakeUp Now meant that members were often required to make an initial investment, purchase inventory, and pay fees to maintain their distributor status. Additionally, distributors were encouraged to recruit new members into the company, often promising them potential earnings and financial freedom.

Unfortunately, the reality for many WakeUp Now members was far from what was promised. As the controversies surrounding the company unfolded and financial instability became apparent, members found themselves facing dwindling income, unpaid commissions, and even complete loss of their initial investments.

The financial losses suffered by WakeUp Now members had severe consequences, leaving individuals in dire financial situations, struggling to recover their investments, and facing the challenges of rebuilding their lives.

Repercussions on Personal Relationships

Joining an MLM company like WakeUp Now often involves not only a financial commitment but also a personal one. Members are encouraged to recruit family members, friends, and acquaintances into their downline, often blurring the lines between personal and professional relationships.

The WakeUp Now scam had a significant impact on personal relationships, causing strain, tension, and even the loss of friendships and familial connections. As the controversies surrounding the company grew, individuals who had recruited their loved ones into the MLM found themselves facing criticism and blame for the financial losses suffered by their recruits.

The breakdown of personal relationships due to the involvement in MLM schemes like WakeUp Now added to the emotional toll experienced by members, further complicating their already challenging circumstances.

The Psychological Impact of MLM Scams

Beyond the financial and interpersonal consequences, the WakeUp Now scam also had a profound psychological impact on its members. Many individuals who believed in the promises of financial freedom and success found themselves disillusioned and betrayed.

The realization that they had been part of a scam, the shame associated with their involvement, and the emotional toll of financial losses took a toll on the mental well-being of WakeUp Now members. Feelings of anger, regret, and self-blame were common, leading to increased stress, anxiety, and even depression.

The psychological impact of MLM scams like WakeUp Now should not be underestimated. The manipulation and exploitation experienced by members can have long-lasting effects on their self-esteem, trust in others, and overall mental health.

In the next section, we will discuss strategies and steps to protect yourself from MLM scams. Understanding how to identify the warning signs, what to do if you’re involved in an MLM scam, and available resources is crucial to safeguarding yourself against these deceptive practices.

How to Protect Yourself from MLM Scams

Protecting yourself from MLM scams is crucial to avoid falling victim to deceptive practices and financial losses. In this final section, we will outline key strategies and steps you can take to protect yourself from MLM scams like WakeUp Now.

Signs of an MLM Scam

Recognizing the warning signs of an MLM scam is the first line of defence. Here are some red flags to watch out for:

  1. Emphasis on Recruitment: If the focus is primarily on recruiting new members rather than selling products or services, it may indicate a pyramid scheme.
  2. High Initial Costs: Be cautious if you are required to make a significant investment or purchase inventory upfront.
  3. Overpromising Income Potential: Beware of exaggerated claims of potential earnings or promises of quick financial success without substantial effort.
  4. Pressure and Manipulation: If you feel pressured or manipulated into joining an MLM, it is a warning sign. Legitimate opportunities should allow you to make an informed decision without coercion.
  5. Lack of Retail Sales: If the majority of revenue is generated from recruitment rather than product sales to end consumers, it may indicate an unsustainable and potentially illegal MLM.

What to Do if You’re Involved in an MLM Scam

If you find yourself involved in an MLM scam such as WakeUp Now, it’s essential to take appropriate action to protect yourself:

  1. Assess Your Finances: Evaluate the extent of your financial losses and create a plan to mitigate further damage. Seek advice from a financial professional if needed.
  2. Cut Your Losses: Consider discontinuing your involvement in the MLM and ceasing any further financial commitments or investments.
  3. Report the Scam: File a complaint with the appropriate regulatory authorities, such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or your local consumer protection agency. Provide them with all relevant information and documentation.
  4. Seek Legal Advice: Consult with an attorney who specializes in MLM scams to understand your legal options and to determine if pursuing legal action is appropriate in your situation.

Resources for Victims of MLM Scams

If you have been a victim of an MLM scam like WakeUp Now, there are resources available to provide support and assistance:

  1. Consumer Protection Agencies: Contact local consumer protection agencies to report the scam and seek guidance on the appropriate steps to take.
  2. Support Groups and Online Communities: Connect with others who have experienced MLM scams to share experiences, seek advice, and find emotional support.
  3. Financial Counseling Services: Seek assistance from non-profit organizations that provide financial counselling services to help you recover and rebuild your financial situation.
  4. Legal Aid Organizations: If pursuing legal action, explore options for free or low-cost legal aid services to help you navigate the legal process.

By being vigilant, informed, and proactive, you can protect yourself from MLM scams and avoid the devastating consequences associated with fraudulent schemes like WakeUp Now.


The WakeUp Now scam serves as a stark reminder of the risks and dangers associated with MLM schemes. Understanding the business model, controversies, impact on members, and protective measures is crucial to making informed decisions and protecting oneself from similar scams.

While MLM companies may promise financial freedom and a unique business opportunity, it is essential to critically evaluate their practices and be cautious of potential red flags. By being aware of the signs of an MLM scam, knowing what to do if involved in one, and utilizing available resources, you can safeguard yourself and avoid falling victim to deceptive MLM schemes.

Remember, protecting yourself starts with knowledge, skepticism, and a commitment to making informed choices. Stay informed, stay vigilant, and prioritize your financial well-being and personal integrity.