27
Jan
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This investigation was conducted by Michael Crider, Liam Spradlin, Artem Russakovskii, and myself, David Ruddock. Credit for the [awesome] graphics in this piece also goes to Liam Spradlin.

Once in a great while, Android Police gets a tip that leads us down a long, winding trail of a story - this is one of those times. A couple of weeks back, we received an email from an app developer claiming that a 3rd party development company was taking credit in their portfolio for an app that he made by himself. At first glance, it seemed scummy, but not exactly newsworthy - after all, there are a lot of shady characters out there on the web looking to make a buck these days.

But we dug. We looked further, and we discovered that this wasn't just one website or one isolated incident: it was just another footnote in a long history of deception, misrepresentation, and lies.

hero

Meet Salsoft - a company behind a dozen or so (possibly quite a few more) sketchy app development and design firm websites that have intentionally misrepresented themselves to customers, a fact some of those customers became aware of much too late. Those sites include, but are not limited to: Avenuesocial, InvolveSocial, Facebookster (defunct), FeelSocial, SocialJitney, Appbury, Logo Bench, Branded Logos, Branded Logo Designs, Salsoft (the mother site), and Appisco.

Why are we reporting on this? To be frank: because someone needs to call these guys out before anyone else makes the mistake of doing business with them. Our investigation has uncovered allegations of fraud, breached contracts, lies, general deception, and efforts to obfuscate the identity of the persons involved in the Salsoft business. We're here to expose them. With that, meet the faces behind Salsoft - a company you most definitely would do well to avoid.

The Ringleaders

ringleaders

Salman Ghaznavi: Salman has been overtly involved in SocialJitney, Appbury, FeelSocial, Avenuesocial, Salsoft, Facebookster, and possibly other parts of this ring of websites. Our suspicion is that Salman may be running the show, and if not bankrolling the effort, is at least involved in leading the organization. Salman has himself listed as CEO of most of these "companies," so it would seem a fair inference to make that he's calling some of the shots.

salman

Salman does not appear on any search of official records in the United States (we tried a half dozen services), suggesting he is probably still a Pakistani national or is using an alias. He appears to at least visit the US regularly (as per his airport check-ins and various photos on his own, public Facebook page), and has his place of residence listed as the San Francisco Bay Area on LinkedIn and numerous other professional networks.

Editorial note: before this piece could make it to publication, Salman Ghaznavi changed his name on LinkedIn to "Salman Anis," removed references to Appbury as his employer, and changed his listed residence to the UAE. However, his profile (link) still retains his previously listed last name in the URL, and contains links in his "Websites" section to Appbury, Avenuesocial, and SocialJitney.

Salman had listed the headquarters of Avenuesocial - now seemingly out of business - as being in Sunnyvale, CA, and a call to another tenant in the building they previously occupied did confirm to us that the company had an office there at one time, though had since moved out.

A quick search of some of the phrasing of Ghaznavi's LinkedIn recommendations reveals that at least two are obvious fakes (here, and here), and several of the others just look weird:

"Salman and his company Avenue Social deliver innovation, on demand and on time. Those are the service providers I want in the ecosystem of my organization because they help change our world for the better in the most efficient manner possible.".

It's rather easy to obtain faked (and custom-tailored... by yourself) LinkedIn recommendations using a site like Fiverr, so at least for the obvious fakes, it's equally obvious how they were probably obtained. Such deals also often come with endorsements, and at least one of the likely fakes shows up in every one one of Salman's "skills and expertise" endorsements.

Salman claims to have attended Curtin University of Technology in Perth, Australia. We know little about what sort of business he was involved in prior to the Salsoft ring's emergence.

It is our suspicion that either Salman and / or Hakim Sadik are the primary backers of this operation, though it appears Salman actually doesn't do much on the product side himself. Regardless, he is without a doubt its public face, and you can watch him wax poetic about social media for 10 minutes in this truly wonderful video.

Usman Ghaznavi (aka Usman Anis): Usman may be related to Salman Ghaznavi, possibly a brother or cousin (the two do bear a resemblance). Usman does show up on record searches in the US, suggesting he is a legal resident of the country, perhaps serving as the enterprise's legally established foothold in America.

Usman is listed as the primary registrant for one of the Avenuesocial websites (other, later sites show that the group has since become aware of private registration services), with the same Sunnyvale address the Avenuesocial site lists as its HQ.

usman

His level of involvement and role in the ring of sites is ambiguous - he is listed as COO at Avenuesocial, for example, but that particular site seems to have been largely abandoned (avenuesocial.com 404s, while avenuesocial.pk is semi-functional but full of broken links). Usman's LinkedIn page, though, claims he still holds the position there.

His public Facebook page does indicate Usman gets around, with regular check-ins in Denver, New York City, and occasional travel to France, the UAE, and Karachi, Pakistan.

Hakim Sadik: We found no reference to Hakim on any of the ring's currently operational websites, but this Twitter handle shows a clear involvement with Facebookster, one of several of the group's now-defunct Facebook development houses. Where we did see Mr. Sadik pop up on multiple occasions was Ripoff Report and Better Business Bureau complaints.

hakim

Those complaints allege that Hakim is in charge of the operation, though it's possible he's also just the man who actually handles communication with customers / victims. Mr. Sadik appears to have taken some effort in keeping his public presence low on the web - his former LinkedIn page dead-ends, and he has not been active on Twitter since 2009.

Hakim's public Facebook page shows him vacationing in the tourist town of Krabi, Thailand in 2012, as well as meeting former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in a photo op (yeah, really - unless it was a wax figure or something) in what looks to be Germany, also in 2012.

The Companies

companies

Salsoft (link): Salsoft appears to be the legitimate face of the entire organization. The company's website is fairly drab, and unlike every other site in the ring, seems to deliberately avoid flashing "Get a quote!" and "Call us today!" all over the front page. Instead, it has only a generic form for inquiries, and suggests all emails go to jobs@salsoft.net. The list of claimed clients is also far more conservative than what you'll see on SocialJitney, Appisco, or Avenuesocial - it's very possible this all started as a completely legitimate business.

Salsoft, instead, seems to be interested in hiring developers. The company's careers page appears empty (and looks not to have been updated since 2009 based on the site's copyright notice), but a quick search reveals the company has employees and is still actively hiring. Though, it seems unlikely that Salsoft has the 150+ employees the official website claims, a number you'll see used across other sites in the Salsoft ring. It has a physical address in Karachi, Pakistan, which directs to an empty lot, though a Google Maps search for Salsoft does provide a result at an actual building.

A number of the sites in the Salsoft ring actually do have clients that claim to have received completed work, though the quality of that work - particularly when it comes to mobile apps - is often questionable at best. The point, though, is that there are actual developers working on producing these projects. It's our belief that those developers are all employed by Salsoft in Pakistan, and many may not even have direct knowledge of the existence of the other sites in the ring. Here's a layout of the sites we're aware of.

thewebsites

SocialJitney (link): The first site brought to our attention, the site that led us to begin this investigation, was SocialJitney. Alexander Osmanov, developer of an app called Perfect Ear Pro, noticed one day that his app appeared on SocialJitney's portfolio page. At the time of this writing, that app was still on the page.

pepro

SocialJitney, of course, had absolutely no involvement with this app in any way. Alexander developed it himself in his spare time on weekends, and he alone contributed to the project. He had never heard of SocialJitney, Salsoft, Avenuesocial, or any of the other companies in the Salsoft ring in his life. So what was it doing on SocialJitney's portfolio page?

SocialJitney lifted the app's images and descriptions from the Play Store, an app which they did not create, and claimed the project as part of their portfolio to make themselves look more legitimate. There is no case for "confusion" here, unless their incompetency borders on insanity - you don't "accidentally" claim to have developed an app you had zero involvement on made by a person you've never been in contact with.

perfect

SocialJitney also claims in their portfolio, amongst other apps, Duolingo (whom happily confirmed they had no involvement with the company), Saviry, the official Bloomberg TV+ iPad app (Bloomberg develops its app in-house), iScope (which appears to be entirely homegrown), the official British Airways iOS app (hey, it reviews terrible, so maybe!), and the official Dolce and Gabbana iOS app. As to the legitimacy of each of those claims, while we cannot be definitive about all of them, I invite you to draw your own conclusions.

For 3rd party development services, like designers, an attractive portfolio is paramount to bringing in customers, a fact it appears that Salsoft understood all too well. Using applications the company did not create or assist in creating to advertise the company's expertise and past work is, of course, a intentional misrepresentation, step one in any civil fraud allegation.

It gets better. SocialJitney has a "team" page, complete with photos of 29 individuals who all look suspiciously well-lit and smiley.

lol

Well, we did some digging. And by digging, I mean the most rudimentary reverse image searching possible, and we got a hit on every. single. image. You may notice one of them pretty fast, like we did - actor Jason Segel up at the top right, who is now apparently Jayden, the Lead Technologist. Check out our exciting chart of all the identities (most are just stock photos), below. Yet more intentional misrepresentation.

1

Lead architect Nathan's image was lifted from a story about a man named Marek Barden, who became quasi-famous after doctors rebuilt his chest using concrete to fill in a hole left by a tumor. The "CEO" - who is not named on the website - is apparently Evan Kirkpatrick, CEO of Wendell Charles Financial. Developer Jacob is apparently a South African comedian by the name of Daniel Friedman. Visual Design specialist Mason is actually Nitin Bajaj, a mutual fund manager in India.

Linking Socialjitney to the Salsoft ring was fairly easy. A profile on ZoomInfo for Salman Ghaznavi lists Socialjitney as one of his companies. There are some weird WordPress blogs about the company, too, one with Salman's name, and another with Hakim Sadik's. There's also a press release naming Salman Ghaznavi as CEO of the company, announcing the completion of an app for a lawyer, Ralph Behr, that looks consistent with the quality of the other apps the group has actually created.

And yes, it does appear that Salsoft has actually produced some apps on its own. This app, for example, has a developer contact with an @avenuesocial.com email address.

As far as other apps the group has created, we believe most - if not all - of the portfolio of iOS game developer Googly, Inc. was actually created by Salsoft. The children's game company appears on SocialJitney's portfolio page, with titles like Alphabets in the Sea. The reason to think they actually made the games? Googly's website, Googly.mobi, is registered to Usman Ghaznavi. The company's two relatively popular titles, Alphabets in the Zoo (59 ratings), and Alphabets in the Sea (67 ratings), actually fare pretty well in terms of review scores, though neither looks particularly polished or visually impressive.

Appbury (link): Appbury is the company Salman Ghaznavi lists as his current place of employment on LinkedIn listed as his place of employment on LinkedIn until a few days before this article was published (he also changed his name on LinkedIn to Salman Anis and removed his photo). Appbury has a portfolio claiming at least some apps it did not create, such as Quick Sale Pro (the developers assured me they had no association with the company).

This Spoke profile still lists Salman as CEO of Appbury, and here's a screenshot of it just in case it gets taken down.

spoke

Appisco (link): We were unable to locate any direct evidence of Appisco's being a part of the Salsoft ring (they seem to be getting that using their real names probably wasn't such a great idea), but it's a pretty dead giveaway when you look at the website layout and the portfolio page, both of which are identical to SocialJitney's. They also use the same hilarious stock photos for their "team." So, it's either a blatant ripoff of the SocialJitney site by someone else, or more likely, just another name they can exploit after another one of their "companies" drowns in a sea of Better Business Bureau complaints.

appisco

Avenuesocial (link): Avenuesocial appears to have been the group's primary venture up until the last couple of years, when mobile application development eclipsed Facebook app development (and let's be realistic, Facebook apps have always just been kind of a dud). Avenuesocial claims to have done work for Heineken, and there's even a press release - published, of course, by Avenuesocial - but unfortunately we weren't able to confirm with Heineken or Havas Worldwide (formerly Euro RSCG) as to its legitimacy. There are at least two people on LinkedIn claiming to have been involved with the Claim Your Victory Dos Equis (a Heineken brand) project while employed by Salsoft, so who really knows.

avenue

Avenuesocial also claimed to have done projects for Wells Fargo, Sony PlayStation, Amnesty International, LG, Naked Juice, World Aids Day, Pringles, Disneyworld, Cars.com, BlackBerry, Carhartt, Pillsbury, Nickelodeon, St. Ives, Nexxus, Texas Instruments, California Pizza Kitchen, Pedigree, Canadian Club, and many, many more. Unfortunately, the age of the site and the claimed work makes it all but impossible to figure out whether any of this was legitimate. PR departments have high turnover, and none of the projects are actually linked to the URLs where they originally appeared, so there's really nothing to inquire about in the first place. It's a dead end.

avenue4

Go further into Avenuesocial's portfolio, though, and the big names drop off, and low-quality quiz games and fast fact apps start to appear with much more frequency. I'd be willing to bet that work is real. But the official Disneyworld Facebook fan page? Again, I'll leave you to decide that one.

avenue3

Salman Ghaznavi continued to call himself the CEO of Avenuesocial well into 2012. Somehow, he secured a spot as a guest speaker at the DEMO 2012 startup conference as part of the unveiling of something called the Dynamic ePlate mobile payment system, calling himself the "CEO of the largest social app games designer" in a video posted on his Facebook page (we won't post the link, but it's not hard to find). He spoke for about 45 seconds without really saying much of anything.

You can also find Ghaznavi listed as the company's CEO on Lead411.

salman

So, was this just another diversion in the Salsoft shell game? It at least appears possible Avenusocial may have been more than that. Do a quick LinkedIn search, and you'll find something surprising: 70 hits for people with the term Avenuesocial, well over 50 of whom appear to be former employees of the company. Some are even based in the United States. Perhaps the company had some momentum, enough to amass a decent number of people on the payroll, before going silent last year. But all other signs point to Avenuesocial having since closed up shop - the website is barely functional (and that's only the .pk domain version, the .com is completely dead), and Salman Ghaznavi no longer lists the company on his LinkedIn page. A call to the Sunnyvale building the company listed its headquarters at, as I said earlier in the piece, gave us a tenant who claimed Avenuesocial did have an office there at one point, but had since vacated it. Avenusocial.com also now 404s, and the previously-mentioned Avenuesocial.pk is basically derelict.

avenue2

What happened? Was Avenuesocial floating on funds from one of the Ghaznavis, or Mr. Sadik, hoping to gain enough momentum to grow into a sustainable business? Did it actually have a fleeting run of success? Or was it all just smoke and mirrors? We don't know. I've reached out to some of the company's alleged former employees, but after nearly a week, I've not heard back from any of the ones I was able to reasonably attempt to contact. For all we know, they could be largely composed of LinkedIn zombie profiles.

Facebookster, FeelSocial (link), InvolveSocial (link): We know little about Facebookster - the site now redirects to Avenuesocial, which 404s - but it seems like the predecessor site of the aforementioned Avenuesocial. A CrunchBase entry for the company is still online, published in 2009. Based on the Ripoff Report complaints, it sounds like Facebookster was in the same business as Avenuesocial - Facebook app and website development. The CrunchBase profile claims the company was founded in 2003 and had over 100 employees, based in Fremont, CA.

Clear links to Hakim Sadik and Salman Ghaznavi are easy enough to find, like this presentation uploaded by Salman to SlideShare, or this profile for Hakim on LeadFerret listing him as director of sales.

facebookster

InvolveSocial and FeelSocial appear to be two of the Salsoft group's less successful social enterprises. These websites were in a largely similar vein to Avenuesocial and, presumably, Facebookster. It's likely that both were abandoned shortly after the company made a shift toward mobile app development as opposed to Facebook app and page services.

A cached FeelSocial news page lists Salman Ghaznavi as CEO, while this video on Vimeo clearly links InvolveSocial and Avenuesocial, the latter for which we have numerous connections to the Salsoft ring. InvolveSocial's website also claims responsibility for many of the same high-profile social campaigns Avenuesocial's once did, though none of the links to any of the apps are functional (some of the pages do work).

feel

The logo trio - Branded Logos (link), Logo Bench (link), Branded Logo Designs (link): Sketchy development and design firms often start in the logo business, because it seems like a relatively simple trade. Salsoft probably had that in mind when it started not one, not two, but three logo design firms (that we know of - there may well be more), two of which have developed fairly terrible reputations on the BBB and Ripoff Report.

The websites feature extensive clipart in their "portfolios," much of which, I would have to guess, they have questionable right to be using in the first place. For example, Branded Logo Designs claims to be the designer of this logo for Stray Cat Productions, but this is actually a work created by BlooVooDoo Studio, a fact I confirmed with the owner. I also found several of the logos featured in this portfolio in logo "inspiration" blog posts, a fact not exactly encouraging in terms of their legitimacy. This ApparelZoo logo, for example, is claimed as a design by a DeviantArt user. Logo Bench and Branded Logos also have many works in their portfolios so generic as to be unusable (eg, the exact opposite of what a logo should be), suggesting yet more fluffing of their work, not to mention that many of the works in the two sites' portfolios match up.

I did speak to a couple of customers who used these services. One of Branded Logos' clients in particular called the company "a bunch of frauds." He did receive an end product, but paid a substantial sum of money for a logo he was "not happy with," and only after "lots of pushing." He claimed the first set of drafts he received were all poorly edited clipart - he did reverse image searches on the web - and even his final logo contains clipart there's no reason to believe Branded Logos had any legal right to use. I won't point out the work specifically, as this customer asked to remain anonymous if we mentioned his experience with the company.

It appears each of these three sites were launched in consecutive years, probably to wash themselves of the BBB and Ripoff Report complaints their predecessors built up (as well as generate new buzz), with Logo Bench in 2011, Branded Logos in 2012, and Branded Logo Designs in 2013. Branded Logo Designs doesn't have any carryover from the previous sites' portfolios (smart!), but the aforementioned and rather blatant intellectual property theft is arguably worse.

What links them to Salsoft? Logo Bench has a business listing with Salman Ghaznavi shown as the primary contact, and the same Sunnyvale address used by Avenuesocial. This obviously then links Branded Logos, which shares many portfolio entries with Logo Bench. Branded Logo Designs is a tougher nut to crack, but there are links according to dissatisfied customers, and this portal at a similar URL is clearly run by Salsoft (brandedlogodesign.com).

bench

Another site I found was StudioXcess, and the link is a bit more tenuous, but I'm inclined to throw it into the ring of sites - employee "Bill Smith" (SOUNDS LEGIT) lists his previous employer as Logo Bench, a "sister company" of InvolveSocial, which is of course related to Avenuesocial. His current employer is also InvolveSocial. His profile picture shows up on a blog called Sumi Ink Club. My guess is the man on the ladder pictured is actually Luke Fishbeck, one of the founders of Sumi Ink Club, and best known as a member of the band Lucky Dragons. I can't get a concrete link to the ring of sites, but it seems pretty likely to me (they list an address in Sunnyvale, too), and it's my strong inclination that "Bill Smith" is a bogus employee.

A History of Complaints

complaints

Sites in the Salsoft ring have amassed an impressive number of Better Business Bureau and Ripoff Report claims in the past few years. Here are some of the numbers.

And here are some of our favorites that are still listed as unresolved.

Company: AvenueSocial. Reason for complaint: Services not fully rendered. Amount: $8,300. Site: BBB.

Seeking refund of $8,300 from Avenue Social for services they did not provide. Ignored emails, pay-pal dispute.
I paid for a service I never received. I have emails in which several team members promised refund. I have been ignored by them as soon as the refund was to take place. The payments were for a service they did not perform and I would like my money back.

The payments were done via wire transfer and PayPal. I have not received any communication on when the money will be sent back. After doing more research, I see that several companies/people have filed similar complaints due to this issue.
I would like my money back and this to be resolved. The product is no longer applicable.

Company: AvenueSocial. Reason for complaint: Services not fully rendered. Amount: Unknown. Site: BBB.

Dear Sir/Madam,
Avenue Social has defaulted the contract and since this complaint has been raised the company:
1. Continue its deceptive practices
2. Phone calls and emails went with unanswered or customers are being asked to go in a circle of people who don't have any knowledge or experiences with the work
3. The company took the money and did absolutely nothing

Company: AvenueSocial. Reason for complaint: Services not fully rendered. Amount: $7,000. Site: BBB.

I had hired Avenue Social for a fee of $7,000.00 to develop and maintain a smart phone app. With this agreement I was promised the highest quality of post service by the way of maintenance and updates. I was promised 3 free updates after the app was active. In January 2012 I had spoke to my then project manager about an update and adding new items to the app. He told me it was a 2 week process. Since this time I have been in contact with them on numerous occasions and continue to be put off until a later date. Now over a year and a half has passed *** I have not yet seen the update. Not only that, I have been completely ignored by everyone I have ever been in contact with concerning my app.

Company: AvenueSocial. Reason for complaint: Services not fully rendered. Amount: $22,500. Site: BBB.

My company signed a contract for a completed service for $45000. After $22500 into the project, they stopped all communication and the project. My company hired this company to create a facebook app for $45000 and completed in roughly 6 monhts. After two years and no completion of the project, they just stopped responding. After repeated emails and phone calls, they finally responded telling me that they have dumped the project and were not completing it.

*AvenueSocial responded to the complaint, claiming they "delivered the code for which [the client] paid" - eg., an incomplete app - the consumer did not accept this as reasonable and demanded a refund, which AvenueSocial refused to provide. BBB marked the issue resolved, but I think we all know how useful an incomplete app is.

Company: Appbury. Reason for complaint: Services not fully rendered. Amount: $17,000. Site: Ripoff Report.

This one's pretty long, and this guy basically started discovering exactly what we did when we began digging into this whole mess. The short version is he paid Appbury $17,000 for an app that was never fully functional, and the last delivery was over 2 months past the original deadline. The customer never indicated in an update that he received any sort of refund, or that Appbury ever delivered a functional app. He indicated he had given up hope of seeing any of his money returned.

Company: Avenuesocial. Reason for complaint: Services not fully rendered. Amount: $5,000-8,000. Site: Ripoff Report.

This person wanted Avenuesocial to develop an app called iKissable, which it appears they did do (it's on the App Store). The complainant claims that Avenuesocial promised the app in 8 weeks, but after a year, they still had failed to deliver an app that actually worked. The complaint was updated to show an agreement was reached stating the app would be updated by June 15 2013 to fix the problems, but the app has not been updated since February 2013. This would imply that the app was never updated as the complainant demanded, and the person likely just gave up on resolving the problem.

Company: Avenuesocial. Reason for complaint: Services not fully rendered. Amount: $6,500. Site: Ripoff Report.

This person claims to have paid Avenuesocial $6,500 to create a website, and 4 years later, still has yet to receive a product.

Company: Facebookster. Reason for complaint: Services not fully rendered. Amount: $5,000. Site: Ripoff Report.

The complainant paid Facebookster $5,000 for a Facebook app, specifically to Hakim Sadik. A year later, the application was still not complete. The complainant notes the company had since changed its name to Avenuesocial, a name it has also since dropped. Sadik responded claiming he would refund the complainant, but the report was never marked resolved by the complainant.

And really, those are just some of the big ones. You can find many additional complaints against Logo Bench, as well as quite a few more against Avenuesocial for unspecified amounts. If you guys find any other complaints that are particularly interesting, be sure to point them out in the comments - we'll add them to the list. By the way, from the numbers we have up there, the total dollar value of just these unresolved complaints shown here is nearly $75,000.

A History of IP Theft

IPtheft

SocialJitney and its associated companies have an impressive habit of misrepresentation. We've already demonstrated that essentially all of their "employees" are proxy people, and since Alexander Osmanov tipped us that they were unjustly using his app as a promotional tool, we decided to contact the developers of the rest of the Android apps in the website's development portfolio. The entire portfolio seems to have been copied verbatim for the extremely similar site Appisco. iOS developers don't have to post contact information on the web version of the iTunes app store, but we tried to get in touch with a few of the more notable ones anyway.

First, there are at least two developers who responded to us saying that SocialJitney/AvenueSocial did, in fact, develop an app for them.

Developer: KN Defense

App: PocketAtt Test (SocialJitney gallery link)

A representative of KN Defense said that SocialJitney had, in fact, created the PocketAtt Test app for his company. The representative also said that the company was very hard to get in contact with, and that they hadn't spoken with their project manager in over a year.

They did actually develop the app for us but they are a very interesting company for sure. They are very hard to get a hold of and they are a legitimate company but they sure make them selves appear like they are not. however, the dealings i had with them were a few years ago. I tried to contact the project manager that helped us but never received a call back.

There was some confusion over the state of this app's development - it was last updated in August, which would be well after KN Defense's last formal contact with SocialJitney. The representative said that they were still trying to get in contact with the company but had no luck via phone.

--

Developer: Zarif Technologies Inc

App: Simple Invoice (SocialJitney gallery link) and Learn Bangla (SocialJitney gallery link)

A representative of Zarif confirmed that SocialJitney had in fact created both of the developer's apps.

In fact they are legit. My company entrusted them to do both of the app Learn Bangla and Simple Invoice.  They have an offshore development center that does most of their work I think. Thank you.

--

The rest of the developers that responded to our inquiries were less than pleased to hear that there was a company claiming to have created their apps.

Developer: Duolingo

App: Duolingo [iOS version] (SocialJitney gallery link)

Duolingo is probably the best-known developer featured in SocialJitney's gallery - we've highlighted the well-received language learning app right here on Android Police. When we contacted the press email for Duolingo, CEO Luis von Ahn was unequivocal in denying any connection or contact between SocialJitney and Duolingo.

We've never heard of them, and I can assure you that they did NOT develop any part of our app.

When we confirmed a formal quote for this article, Mr. Ahn added:

You can quote me! these guys suck.

--

Developer: Pinkfroot

App: Plane Finder (SocialJitney gallery link)

Pinkfroot was already aware of Social Jitney, after being contacted by a prospective SJ customer who was doing their homework and checking with the featured apps on the website.

Yes this is completely fraudulent and we have contacted the company to get their claims about Plane Finder removed. We were alerted to this by a potential client for them who was seeking references! Needless to say I put them straight.

According to Jodie Armstrong of Pinkfroot, the developer then contacted the SJ sales team directly and pretended to be interested in services before confronting them about the fake app profile. This was the response from SocialJitney:

I completely understand your point of view and just so you know yes I did think it was a sales lead. It would be been more appropriate if you could have called us rather than enticing a sales representative such as myself to believe the inquiry you shared was authentic. Secondly, just so you know I am an employee here and I have to follow certain parameters and protocols. I have notified the management on this and they are looking into it.

Pinkfroot's contact at Social Jitney, Neil Kenneth Baroi, gave a Sunnyvale, CA address and phone number. At the time of writing, Plane Finder is still being featured on the SocialJitney and Appisco galleries, despite Pinkfroot's efforts to remove it.

--

Developer: Saviry

App: Saviry - Deals, Freebies, Sales (SocialJitney gallery link)

Note: the Saviry app was previously titled "iSlick" and is named as such on the SocialJitney and Appisco galleries.

The Saviry Team denied any knowledge of Social Jitney and said that they had had no contact with the company. Here's the official statement:

We, Saviry Team, never heard of (or worked with) ScialJitney.com or any of it's employees.

--

Developer: Bishinews

App: Expense Manager Pro (SocialJitney gallery link)

Our contact at Bishinews denied any knowledge or contact with SocialJitney.

This is the first time we hear this site. We don't know any of them in the "the team". Not sure why they took the credit for the app. At least they didn't pirate the app like some other sites do. Not sure how to deal with it.

--

Developer: IntelliXense

App: Quick Sale Pro [iOS] (Appbury gallery link)

IntelliXense said without reservation that they had no connection with any of the companies we've mentioned here.

Our Quick Sale app was completely developed in-house. We have no relationship with Appbury, SocialJitney, Avenuesocial, or Salsoft and not permission has be granted to allow the use of our app name and logo.

--

We also spoke with one developer who legitimately worked with SocialJitney at one point, but had switched to another development company. Another developer representing a major company told us that they probably had no contact with SocialJitney, but that due to organizational issues, could not completely confirm or deny any wrongdoing. Both contacts asked us not to mention them by name.

So, what do I do with this?

Well, for one, you can share this article. The only way these guys will end their deceptive practices is if this story gains traction. We'll also update it as needed when we see new sites that we believe are part of the Salsoft ring emerge, though we certainly wouldn't mind some help with that.

We'll be sharing this article with the FBI's Cyber Crimes tip line, the IC3, as well the California DoJ's eCrime unit. While we obviously can't make any definitive conclusions about any potential criminality in what Salsoft is doing, I think we can all agree they at least warrant a little looking into.

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Daniel McKenzie J.

    erm, wow.

  • cmbeid

    Holy cow, this was a very detailed, well researched article.

    • Vitaly Streltsov

      New Sheriff is in town.

      • Stacy J. Sawyer

        my&nbspոe­­igհb­­օr's&nbsps­­­­­­t­­­­­­e­­­­­­p-­­­­­­s­­­­­­i­­­­­­s­­­­­­t­­­­­­e­­­­­­r&nbspΜ­­­­­­а­­­­­­κ­­­­­­℮­­­­­­ѕ&nbsp$­­­­­­­­­­85&nbspevery&nbspհ­­­­­­օ­­­­­­υ­­­­­­r&nbspon&nbspthe&nbspі­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­℮­­­­­­r­­­­­­ո­­­­­­℮­­­­­­τ.&nbspShe&nbsphas&nbspbeen&nbspfired&nbspfor&nbsp8&nbspΜ­­­­­­օ­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­հ­­­­­­ѕ&nbspbut&nbsplast&nbspΜ­­­­­­օ­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­հ­­­­­­ѕ&nbspher&nbspр­­­­­­а­­­­­­Уcheck&nbspwas&nbsp$­­­­­­­­­­17465&nbspjust&nbspW­­­­­­օ­­­­­­r­­­­­­κ­­­in­­­g&nbspon&nbspthe&nbspі­­­­­­ո­­­­­­τ­­­­­­℮­­­­­­r­­­­­­ո­­­­­­℮­­­­­­τ&nbspfor&nbspa&nbspϜ­­­­­­℮­­­­­­W&nbspհ­­­­­­օ­­­­­­υ­­­­­­rs.&nbspRead&nbspmore&nbspon&nbspthis&nbspѕ­­­­­­і­­­­­­τ­­­­­­℮,...&nbspWW&#87&#46Googleprojects2014everybodyLZcarme43lA&#x2E&#113r&#46&#x6E&#101&#116&#47&#109&#87&#113&#x5A/

        ☭☭☭ ☭☭�☭ ☭☭☭☭ ☭☭☭￷☭ ☭☭☭☭Be careful guys, you never know what these guys are actually doing with these shady businesses.

      • Doreen Steven

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        ✚✚✚ ✚𐠔✚✚ ✚✚𐠚✚✚ ✚✚✚ ✚✚✚You may find even more evidence there.

    • Knour1945

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    • Alberto

      I cant believe I read this article lol. good story btw

  • darkdude1

    And the award for the most comprehensive article goes to...Androidpolice! Seriously, very good job. I'll be back in 5 years when I've finished reading it.

    • Roberto Stefanini

      Tl;dr, but damn it was very detailed

  • Jdban

    Appreciate you guys living up to your name

  • Bluewall

    And this is why this website is actually called Android "Police" :D

    • Cherokee4life

      :) Thank you for referencing the past article about their name. I was going to say the same thing!

      AP well done!

  • Andrew

    WOW, just wow. This is deep. Exceptional work!

  • Zlatty

    You missed a B in this line:
    Facebookster: Not listed on BB, 2 on Ripoff Report

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      You haven't heard of the Better Bureau? Thanks!

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        How do you know he wasn't talking about the Better Business. Or maybe Business Bureau?

        • chinna_rao

          @archon810:disqus
          you got the name of the indian guy wrong!
          niNtin is outrageously funny!
          its nitin bajaj

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

            I'll tell David and Liam to fix this. Good catch.

      • darkdude1

        Found a small typo: "Alexander developer it himself in his spare time on weekends, and he alone contributed to the project" - developer to developed.

      • Anonymous

        Have you heard about these scammers as well http://www.appostrophic.com/ its also run by a pakistani company name Axact doing the same thing in a better enviorment...

  • Albin Hermansson

    Creds to Michael, Liam and David. This was a really comprehensive story and these are what define Android Police.

  • Martin S Shepherd

    My favorite part: The quote from the Duolingo rep - "You can quote me! these guys suck."

  • kevgret

    Congrats to everyone involved with this article.. well researched and well written...

  • yodatom10

    Would it be helpful if we forward this to our local state cyber crime division ?

    I Wan't to see these guys go down hard.

    Great Work guys :)!!

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Go for it.

    • Ali Zeeshan

      go for it, there is no crime here other than copy rights infringement + false advertising.

  • NathanDrago

    Awesome e-investigation! :-D How to solve a case without quitting the office :-)

  • Christopher Robert

    You guys might have accidentally kicked a sleeping bear here. Be careful guys, you never know what these guys are actually doing with these shady businesses. These companies could just be cover companies for money laundering or they could be funneling cash out of the country for terrorism or mafia activity.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      We'll let the FBI sort this out.

      • Justin Dugan

        The Android FBI?

        • A guest

          No, the Android Authority

          • Emstron

            Must be hard for them, lol

    • Guest

      Or they could just be douche bags scamming people out of money. The world is not filled with terrorists and organized crime members lurking behind every sand dune, telephone pole and restaurant, television and film notwithstanding.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      I didn't really think it was an appropriate topic to discuss in this article - we really wanted to stick with conclusions drawn from the facts - but I highly doubt Salsoft has ties to any kind of "T" word activities.

      You don't go around plastering your face on the web as Mr. CEO if you're involved major international criminal conspiracies. These guys strike me as some, uh, "savvy businessmen" who thought if they faked it long enough, they could make enough money to go legit and just snowball their way to success. They just needed one really good front to stick, and they'd be set. Or so they thought.

      From what we've seen it just sounds like they're like a lot of people operating scammy businesses on the web: greedy. And perhaps, in Salman's case, a bit narcissistic.

      • teolinux

        What a bunch of scumbags.
        What's sad is that I think FBI or any western authority will have little to do to stop them

      • Contractor

        I have worked for SalSoft. They are much bigger than you report.

        • Leo

          I am a vendor at salsoft! I accidently started business with them.
          I face even worse!

    • Ulysee

      He is not a criminal nor money launderer but guy pushed to wall can do anything.

  • JJJJ

    Hakim Sadik looks like Odo.

  • Matt

    Jason Segel popped out at me right away..... really?

    • Cherokee4life

      I saw that and laughed too

    • D-Man

      I knw come on man atleast use some unknown pics :P ... why use a big star :D .. u neve rknow next their HR manager will be Jolie :P

  • Chris

    I'm not usually this crude and you will have to excuse my french, but fuck these guys. I'm a true believer in karma.

    • https://steamcommunity.com/id/m-p-3 m-p{3}

      I speak french and yours is flawless in this context.

    • Nilo

      His car got totaled sometime back.

  • Marcell Lévai

    TL;DR

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      TL;DR Read the story.

      • Marcell Lévai

        I will, I will, definitely. Exams tomorrow, so it was just a quick visit for me today ;)

      • jaduncan

        Tenaciously Long; Do Read?

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii
    • darkdude1

      Thank you - I wanted to suggest mirroring everything possible including saving the html or taking screenshots so in case this guys catch wind of this (I suspect they will), all of the evidence is still available. :)

    • Grizzly Adams

      You might also want to check the Wayback Machine for older content. For example, this ( http://web.archive.org/web/20090515222425/http://www.facebookster.com/ ) is the last time facebookster was crawled before they started forwarding to avenuesocial. You may find even more evidence there.

  • usaff22

    citation needed promotion needed

    Well done! Amazing work.

  • hyperbolic

    Great work.
    Amazing article and investigation! (But let's not forget it's only a drop in HUGE sea).

    I hope someone will do something to at least one them but it will take a lot of time or even won't happen at all.

    All we can do is to check our deals before we close them.

  • Vasilis K.

    Great article!!! Keep uncovering!!!

  • usaff22

    Reddit in 3, 2, 1....

  • TheUndertaker21

    I must say it was one of the deepest article I've ever seen, if you look at their webistes you can realize that it's not legit and seems fake from the first look, I hope to see these guys vanish and stop deceiving Devs! Well Done Android Police Guys! you're AWESOME!

  • http://www.maverickcreative.ca/ Joshua Richards

    My god. Congrats AP. Congrats.

  • Danny365

    VDayX-IFKF-XQTU-S24D-CKVX

    • Rick Perez

      Thx worked great

  • rocket_crotch

    Yet another reason why I read Android Police daily! Very nice work!

  • brian

    we can hire those guys from that MTV show named catfish hahahaha JK, just wanted to say great article very interesting

  • http://dpashk.com/ Dmitry Pashkevich

    Now, that's what I call Android POLICE! :)

  • WORPspeed

    AP living up to its name!
    GoGo!

  • http://www.technorms.com/ Shishir Kinkar

    I was looking out for the investigative piece since I read a tweet by David a few days ago.

    Exceptional and brilliant job guys!!

  • Frank Brown
    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      Guys I hear Salsoft is hiring AND THEY HAVE POOL PARTIES

      • teolinux

        My idea of pool party is somewhat different from "sausagefest"

      • Ravo

        Fully clothed pool parties, lol!

        • mateor

          "Into the pool for photo op NOW! I want you back at the keyboard in five minutes WET OR NOT!"

          • Arsalan Adam Khatri

            The software developers never know what the company owners are doing, so lets not involve them in this..

      • D-Man

        Well They are a real software/web and mobile app firm. I gave an interview there recently. They work yes without any relation to any "T" thing. But man are they playing ppl or what glad I didnt take on that job :P

      • Sheheryar Khan

        yeah salsoft mostly hires mobile application developers you can check it on major pakistani job portals. In my comment I mentioned once I met salman too.. ;)

    • hanfeedback

      Wow, a pool party with all dudes, also, can you imagine the smell??!?!!?!?

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        Chlorine?

    • YodaRocks

      One of them is wearing Pakistani cricket team's T-shirt.
      Fitting.

      • lun lun in your mouth

        They live in Pakistan, and there scammy offices are in Karachi.

    • Leo

      Salsoft's victims =>
      1) Needy Fresh Grads. (Who ultimately become their developers)
      2) Freelancers, Experienced Technical personnels & small companies/start-ups looking for outsourced projects. They make them sign up the (Vendor) contract and hence remain unpaid for their work.
      3) People around the world looking for their business solutions.

      • Ali Zeeshan

        How are the needy fresh grads their victims? They work and get paid.
        How can you be sure that they do not pay the vendors?
        They cannot stay in business if they aren't delivering. On eLance etc they do have good references. So if they are delivering, what is the problem?

    • Chris
  • Vibrunazo

    Please do keep in mind that Ripoff Reports is a very well known scam. Most (all?) listing there are made up so they can indirectly charge the accused website for removing the, purposely, false accusations. You certainly shouldn't be using them as a source for anything whatsoever.

  • AtiRage

    Damn fine detective work, droid coppers!

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

    So this just happened.

    • My name is….

      Imagine an Android Police ad on their site, preferably with a link to this article.

    • teolinux

      LOL @ adsense
      TROLOLOLO

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        Keywords are keywords.

    • usaff22

      An app people?

  • http://www.youtube.com/crisr82 Kristian Ivanov

    Reading this makes me wish I had proper journalism skills instead of just...game reviewing ones...really good job guys!

  • wekebu

    Thank you. Very detailed and very interesting. Good work!

  • Serge Cebrian

    they should arrest Siegel!!! well no i still have to finish the last season of HIMYM
    but after that get him to Jail . to show Salman you can't play with people
    ;)

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      After you finish the last season, you may just end up wishing to take this back and having him thrown there earlier.

  • Chris louthan

    Nice to see investigative journalism, making a comeback. Excellent reporting. ........Idea for next story......."Mainstream media confused and curious by Android Police report that actually reports facts."

  • hanfeedback

    Looks like more 5th world colonists who come to the west and bring us their wonder cultural enrichment.

  • tocsin

    Really unexpected seeing Perth in this article lol and I know people who go to curtain :0

  • Evan Jenkins

    Excellent piece you guys, I sent this link to The Verge (although they probably already have seen it since they reference you guys a bunch already) again great job I felt like I was reading a dateline piece :D

  • Sootie

    He changed his name to anis?!

    Did it used to be latrine?

    Excellent through reporting as always AP, even if my inner 5 year old couldn't get past the bottom jokes.

  • perfectlyreasonabletoo

    Pakistan: the China of China.

    • ZeeshanShahid

      I'm a Pakistani and screw you sir for making me laugh out loud on your comment!

  • Thomas Cai Jinzhan

    The police is here! To all crooks, watch out!!!

  • Owen Finn

    Middle Eastern men ripping people off in the mobile world? Say it isn't so!

  • YodaRocks

    Why am I not surprised that these people are Pakistanis?

    • aq

      Well, atleast its nasty businessmen and not terrorists.

    • Rajiv khanna

      Bad apples... the country has talented folks..

  • Mado

    Oooh, a serious investigation. Does that mean you guys *clicked on the second page of Google Search result?* OOOO /s

    Seriously, though, great work. And fuck these guys.

  • Fifth313ment

    Dang, you think they hate black people?! There is not a single black person on that list! LOL, I guess white people make you look more legit, lol! Great work guys! And Jason Segal? They couldn't peruse through a bunch of peoples Facebook pages to get some screens which would have been harder to reverse engineer search?

    5th

  • TJ Benson

    It looks likely that the date facebooker was founded is fake, as it precedes Facebook itself, which was founded 2004 and opened to the public in late 2006.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    Here is the link between Appisco and the rest: http://sameid.net/domain/appisco.com/. They use the same Google Analytics IDs.

  • Ahmer

    They are copy cat, recently they copy my website header navigation and hierarchy of pages, also rewrite content of these pages under a new domain name. You can see here is my website link http://www.wewanttraffic.com and here is the copy version of Salsoft's http://www.6degreesww.com

  • Pawail

    Mobilezapp Apps Inc - Another shady company that has tall claims! Please look into it!

  • Munawar

    I dont know if i should post this or not ... but I am glad i stopped working for them.

    • Premsuraj

      You worked for them? Were you a developer? Have you ever noticed they were running a scam?

      • Munawar

        I was the designer over there and, the first initial designs were made by me for Involve social, Avenue Social, Social Jitney and Feelsocial. Well i dont know how they did business but i was aware of the complaints that clients had over there.

        • Himmat Singh

          So it did seem like a real company?

          • Munawar

            yes it is a proper company ...

          • Munawar

            yes it is a proper company ..

  • Anonymous

    I would like to anonymously bring your attention to another of such scammers called Axact.

    • http://about.me/uzidon Uzair Ahmed

      What about it? I've heard it's one of the top IT firms in Pakistan and I was really looking forward for a job interview there. What do you know about it?

      • Anonymous

        They are well known for Selling Fake Degrees and Academic Papers!

    • Anonymous

      One another Scam Company http://www.appostrophic.com/

    • Jammie

      This company is so douchey even BBC tried to investigate.

  • sheb

    These bloody bastards dosent even pay to there vendors.

    I am one of there vendor they owe me more then $4000

    • Sameer Ahmed Khan

      I guess we are lucky that we didn't agree to their outsourced projects

  • Hoggles

    Google. You need to ban, across the board, any and ALL apps and ads associated with these criminals.

    Cut them off from making money through your search results and the Play Store.

    Don't be evil Google.

    Do it!

    • Alexander Osmanov

      What do you mean by ALL apps associated with them? Is my app considered associated with them just because they used it? I don't see any reason why Google must ban MY app.

  • Alexander Osmanov

    Thank you for doing this AP!

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  • Guest
  • lun lun in your mouth

    you forgot to add : logodesignuniverse.com

  • Arsalan

    A really detailed research on Salsoft, I must say, they have come out as "big" frauds. I really know some people who work there as developers and business development team!

  • Xavi

    Hi, I am from Pakistan. I worked there 8 month Salsoft in 2009 and then worked for them as freelancer. Salman and Usman are brothers they are pawns the real king investor, mastermind is Hakim.

    Once there CTO Umair quoted me when I was working as freelancer and begging them funds for like a year for my work. He said we never really completed any Flash Games ever.

    They are cheater, lier all time and infact they threat me for asking my labor.

    Thanks

  • Graham Goon

    Good Job. (y) Companies like SalSoft should be brought down. They are a shame for real tech companies trying to make a legal living.

  • Faisal Malik

    These guys are really fake, they hire new developers after every two months and never pay their salaries and then hire new ones. They use tricks/threats to avoid payments

    • Xavi

      I agree with you they threat me with IT minister PA. But he underestimate me..lols us PA nay khud cheque leke dia tha......Or usman haqlata reh gaya tha...lol

  • Kashif

    This Article Posted on the behalf of some opponent

  • CERN

    Good job! Amazing article!

  • Luke Benson

    Fantastic article - I can only imagine the work that went into this. I can only hope this despicable company meets it's downfall sooner rather than later.

  • Pradeep Viswanathan R

    Good stuff guys!

  • http://www.gameosaur.com/ neoKushan

    And this is why I come to AP.

  • Sheheryar Khan

    I met Salman once in 2008 I guess when he was looking for some SEO people for a job in his Karachi office. He was making clone of metro lyrics website at that time & took my interview too. I may still have his visiting card too.. ;)

  • Caleb Roenigk

    Love you AP!

  • fritish

    Great article!

  • Fraudster Destroyer

    Well, you are bit late for that gents :D

    I manage to get back a bit of money from them by pushing and publishing personal infos about all the ring. You also missed an important website:

    check here for more infos ;)

    https://www.facebook.com/appburyfraud

    I would recommend people to open Ripoffreports, BBB is not efficient enough

  • Vardan Nazaretyan

    *Too long didn't read*

    • tita

      go f*** ur self

  • Fraudster Destroyer

    This is salman ghaznavi page

    https://www.facebook.com/sghaznvi?fref=ts&ref=br_tf

    If you live near him, go to Pakwan restaurant, I am sure you can meet him there

  • mustbepbs

    Moral of the story? Never trust Indians in the technology field.

    • Himmat Singh

      Hmmm....wouldn't call these Indians. Top engineers at Microsoft AND Google are ethnic Indians. These guys here are more Pakistani/Arab.

      • smsulari

        Dont Generalize please. Every ethnic group has people who can opt for fraud and shortcuts compromising others investment and trust. This must br condemn and stopped despite of their origin.

      • mustbepbs

        Same thing.

  • Anonymous

    Everything in it is right.
    I was employee of salsoft technologies few years back and have some inside details as well including some victims.
    let me know if you want to know more...

  • lun lun in your mouth

    These guys are also found in sexual harassment that what I found after doing my researching over facebook for logobench, their another site name http://www.logodesignuniverse.com/ and http://www.benchdesignww.com, http://www.6degreesww.com/ these are scammers and they do not fullfil clients requirement logobench facebook page has soo many complains regarding refunds.. These seems like call center Pakistanis involving in bigger scams like grants, and duck cleaning .. many of the people working over their doesnt even know what design and development meant. I hope this matter will be get in notice by FBI and Interpol.. ..

    • lun lun in your mouth

      Salsoft jerks at party after looting customers!!

      • lun lun in your mouth

        This is seems ridiculous, dont they have a team? look like bunch of internees or they are outsourcing agency?

        • lun lun in your mouth

          Seems like boss of Logobench enjoying after fulling their pockets with huge amount of non refund $$ man man look at them I cant see any professional first I thought all indians then sadly they are from Pakistan.. I wish when I went back to my country I meet these frauds and take back my refund. these all are fraud persons

          • X-Salsoftian

            Seems like its a logo bench team with VP Umair Ahmed

  • Fatima Wahab

    I've got about 55 contacts on LinkedIn who've all worked at Salsoft. Time for a clean up :

    • Sameer Ahmed Khan

      Well, I guess they aren't to be blamed :)

  • http://about.me/shobz Shobz

    I was in college with Salman. Everyone hated him coz he was dodgy. Not surprised to see him running these scams.

  • smsulari

    I cannot believe that I have read the whole article and then all the comments. These guys are real shame to my Country. People like me keep struggling day and night building clients trust providing quality services and maintaining relationships and idiots like Salman just ruin all for their shortcuts and greediness.

    Really sad to see that

    • Himmat Singh

      Indeed. Always not a good idea to get a bad stigma due to some rotten eggs.

    • Munawar

      I totally agree with you man due to these black sheep's in our country we have been labeled Terrorists, Scammers, Untrustworthy, Hated, Dis Loyal and what not.

  • nttigulis

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! They stole money from me, and I can't wait for them to all go to jail! Well done!

  • http://about.me/shobz Shobz

    Ps Salman studied at Beaconhouse Informatics in Karachi back in the early 00s. They were offering a Bachelors degree in association with Curtin Uni (as an external program).

  • The Arsonist

    Hakim Sadik is the reason Ill never use an Over seas developer again.

  • Nomi

    Didn't you have anything better to do?
    What a waste of time.

    • Mkvarner

      How is this waste of time?

      • Z

        This guy may be salman(owner). lolz

  • Scammed User

    I was also scammed by them. I signed 2 contracts with Avenue Social. In the first project I agreed to pay 10,000$ for a Facebook game and in the second project I agreed to pay 2800$ for an iPhone game. Initially they seemed to be working on the projects and they showed progress + people were responding to my communications. After I made a ballon payment that made my overall payments at 50% of the contract they started avoiding my messages and stopped showing any progress. Good job on reporting this. I hope they will never see a dime in any venture.

    List of known employees of the company : (I see them as part of the scam)

    Marcel@Avenuesocial.com; Usman Siddiqui ; m.jafri@avenuesocial.com; saniya@avenuesocial.com; absar@avenuesocial.com; leon.wulff@avenuesocial.com; maria@avenuesocial.com; shoaib@avenuesocial.com; Ali.Khan@avenuesocial.com; Maria.Davis@avenuesocial.com; syedali.naqi@avenuesocial.com; m.farooq@avenuesocial.com; arsalan@avenuesocial.com; muhammad.umer@avenuesocial.com; chris.foster@avenuesocial.com; faiyaz.ahmed@avenuesocial.com; faizan.subzwari@avenuesocial.com

    • bassa

      Updated list of employees:

      Basit Khan

      Muhammad Awais

      Marcel

      Salman Ghaznavi

      sana anwar

      Amir Pasha

      Danish ghauri

      Shoaib

      Usman Siddiqui

      Faiyaz Ahmed

      Maria Davis

      Azam Khan

      A Jafri

      Chris Foster

      Danish Ghauri

      Leon Wulff

      Neelum Shamim

      Umair Hussain

      Leon Wulff

      Wahab Khan

      Seemi Munir

      Hakim Sadik

      Usman Ghaznavi

      Obaidullah bin Yousuf

      Samantha Hastings

      Mush Ahmad

  • anonymous

    Salsoft has around 300 employees actually, in two offices. Most of them do legitimate work.

  • JWolf_PDX

    I'm immediately skeptical of anything related to social media that is not the big 3; Facebook, twitter, Google+ and I'm just some dingbat Android power user, Facebookster?! LOL!. If I can see by looking at just one of those domain names that this outfit smacks as some fly by night operation then surely any fool with a few more dollars than I have and is looking to give it away would be thinking along the same lines, right?

    IMO anyone dealing with any of the companies/domains/what have you associated with anything mentioned in this article is simply reaping what they have sown.

    Nice article.

  • Blake Forehand
  • Markoff

    TLDR

  • http://www.LOVEanon.org/ Michael Oghia (Ogie)

    This is why AP is simply the best.

  • Sid

    Android Lovers, dont you think Apple is actually into much more innovations, like touch ID mobile paymet see this http://goo.gl/UKByGw

  • Aqua

    Ok, one caan say that but apple is actually into much more innovations, like touch ID mobile paymet see this :http://www.edictogram.com/2014/01/apples-mobile-payment-with-touch-id.html

  • Munawar

    let me add one more thing ... the way they FIRE people from the jobs they are the worst scumbags out there ... pathetic management.

  • Ali

    Sorry, guys, this article goes a bit overboard. . They've breached copy-rights laws, claimed someone else's products as their own, but at the end of the day they aren't scamming anyone (at worst, it's false advertising). When their customers pay them, they delivery (Even if bad quality. But if you pay $10-15 per hour, what do you expect?). However, they aren't selling a product, they are selling a service. It's the job of the customer to verify credentials, skills and view testimonials - basically common business sense when you select a vendor.

    Scammy is this: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/01/the-dark-lord-of-the-internet/355726/?single_page=true

    These guys are just like several hundred (or thousand) other outsourcing companies who are trying to crack in.

  • Sid

    Edictogram is an interactive multi-niche platform for tech-social media updates, including android, windows, apple, facebook, google, youtube, snapchat & other significant updates you need to know under a common hub i.e. edictogram visit us at: http://www.edictogram.com

  • Sergio

    Thanks! People like that deserve articles like this.

  • Guest

    I also worked there about 4 years ago as a Developer, I wondered why we get a new project when previous is not 100% completed.... now I know the truth.. . Thanks AP for the investigation.

  • Malik Mudassar

    Excellent work done by Android Police. I was also some how screwed up by these guys and couldnt figure out what to do, looks like you did what i dreamed for. Thumbs up

  • Ziya Ahmed

    They have ripped me off with 10K and given me a bull app that does not work and never reply to my messages!!!!!! im going to sue and more!!! how can you steal money like this!!!!

    • BurnedByAvenueSocial

      If you need to join forces with another company looking to bring legal action against them. let me know. they stole $20,000+ from my company.

      • Cook_dieslel

        I wouldn't mind joining you in a class action lawsuit Appbury just stole nearly $16K from me for an app they never completely developed, and they've since refused to give me a full refund.

        • Sab04

          I also want in on this legal action as I am out 10k !

  • Jammies

    I almost joined them for work but something stopped me from doing so. Salman was a nice person during interview and had an slight Australian accent.

    I think he was let down by his employees some of which are known to steal his clients.

  • X-Salsoftian

    I'm feeling lucky that i left Salsoft a year ago. Although i were learned alot there but i don't like how they dealing with the clients and the employees.

  • Pär Dahlberg

    Nice work AP!

  • lun lun in your mouth

    Salman behind bars, LOL.. USA and Pakistani govt. should take action against these scumbags.. I'm waiting for development against them.

    • summairy

      i sure if someone engaged a lawyer on contact at summairy@gmail.com, these criminals might be apprehended on their own country.

  • summairy

    i sure if someone engaged a lawyer on contact at summairy@gmail.com, these criminals might be apprehended on their own country.

    • BurnedByAvenueSocia

      What is summairy@gmail.com? I scammed and my money is no gone because of these people. What can I do?

      • BurnByAvenueSocial

        lol my bad, I got upset and my spelling and grammar is all over the place... what I ment to say is what can I do to see to these people face justice? Is that email a link to someone who can help? I have record of everything and can prove the stole other peoples products and tried to sell them to our company. In addition they completely scammed us for our project and gave us nothing in return.

        • BurnedByAvenueSocial

          see there again, I didnt even type my guest account name correctly... seriously though how can we get these guys. they fucked my company out of 20,000+...

  • Cajun

    I gave these guys 13500 to develop my app and they developed a half functioning app that actually made it into the App Store which was kicked out shortly after for some reason. I'm a plumber so I have no idea what I'm doing in app development so they seemed legit. I dealt with my project manager on dec 2 and she gave me her cell number and I contacted her a week after that. I had no clue it was a scam until she just completely ignored me since mid dec. does anyone have any suggestions for me? Am I completely screwed or is there a chance I can get my money back.

    • BurnedByAvenueSocial

      If there is something to do, I hope you can figure it out and let me know. They did the samething to my company. We're now out $20,000+

  • Ale

    Thanks A LOT for this article

  • Percise Windom

    I paid Social Jitney $4,500 for my application that should have taken 2 months. I had plenty of issues from designs to them refusing to give me what they stated they would provide for me. I have been messaging them for the last 2 months yesterday they finally messaged me. Stating that they are TERMINATING MY PROJECT DUE TO BANKRUPTCY. I have no idea how to get my money back I have no project what can I do? The project was going on for 10 months before they messaged me yesterday.

    • BurnedByAvenueSocial

      They stole 20,000+ of my companies money. I have their new address but I don't know what to do from there??

  • BurnedByAvenueSocial

    I have just finished a project with them. They completely failed at the entire project. Although that was unknown to me the entire time.. they were contracted to develop and iOS and Android Applicaiton. They failed at both fronts and my company is now out $20,000+.
    They're located here:

    Avenue Social
    46728 Fremont Blvd
    Fremont, CA 94538
    PHONE: 510-585-6353
    FAX: 415-901-0668
    other FAX: 510-943-5941

    they seem to have moved from their previous address:
    440 North Wolfe Road, MS# 142.
    Sunnyvale, CA 94085

    Salman Ghaznavi seems to be using salman@avenuesocial.com for his email now.
    These are number they have used to lie to our company:

    650-488-5317
    650-488-4562
    650-491-0015

    510-257-4496 (this one the most)

    In addition I can give names of other employees who are just as guilty as that dirt bag:
    Shoaib Shoukat - shoaib.roudani@hotmail.com
    Seemi Munir - skype name: seemi.munir
    Zulfiquar Ali - +1 (650-488-4267)

    I also believe that Salman Ghaznavi is going as a different name now: Amir Pasha - :
    skype name:amir.pasha1 but that might just be another member of his scamming team.

    They not only misrepresent themselves they are actually breaking the law as well. They're based in Pakistan and I believe they may have a small tie to a terrorist organization. From our conversations they would often talk about the car bombing going off in Karachi. They seemed excited they were going off.. I hope these guys get arrested for their crimes.

    The attached image is a list of the other people who are part of their organization:

  • LD

    I just signed a contract with Appisco...This should be very interesting. I hope things go well.

    • Trp Mob

      I just completed a project with Appisco. When I read this article I spoke to them and their CEO explained their side in detail. He even offered to do the project on a payment on completion basis. Project was delivered today and I just sent them the payment. Did not encounter any problems. Credit should be given when due.

      • LD

        That is good to hear. So far I can't complain. The rep I am dealing with has been great. We are about to meat the 'team' and get access to a portal for communication, so hopefully it continues in this direction. Do you mind adding what their side of the story was?

        • Mike

          So what is the status of your project?

          • LD

            Horrible. After we negotiated a rate, signed contracts, they decided to pull from the project all together. I ended up losing bids from other developers and I almost didn't get my deposit back from them. They are NOT A RECOMMENDED solution for REAL BUSINESSES. Don't take the risk. Save your time. The sales associates are nice, but that is about it. PLEASE SAVE YOUR SELF TIME AND MONEY. GO SOMEWHERE ELSE.

  • Sckoon Organics

    We also became a victim of Hakim Sadik and Usman Ghaznavi at SocialJitney. We paid over $11,000 which is 2/3 of the entire payment and the app was never delivered. They started ignoring our emails and phone calls. We did everything to get the money back or complete the project, but just a waste of energy and we moved on. That was back in 2010. It was a horrible experience.

  • info_request

    I was told by these guys that they are taking out a law suit against you is that true?

    • Pakistan will burn.

      Haha a bunch of internet scamming terrorists would not dare sue anybody. No court of law would ever rule in their favor.

  • LD

    UPDATE: This company (APPISCO) is the most shady company. I was dealing with a rep from their company, signed a contract and agreed to terms. I made a down payment and the company contacts me to raise the original price or they were cancelling the service. They refunded my money today (we will see I haven't actually seen it yet) and I am speaking to my attorney about suing them for breach of contract.

    DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY. THEY are a SCAM. I have written/documented proof.

    Save your money and find another company not listed above.

  • Another_Sucker

    I was told by these guys that they have a law suit against the owner of this site, is that true?

  • Discovery

    Salsoft is now operating as hardware business in California under ITech devices.

  • Derek

    I hired over InvolveSocial over the summer. Worst decision I ever made. I wish I read this article last year. I ended up filing a complaint with the BBB and only got 60% of my payment back from them. I should of done my research before I ever talked to Nick Marshall.

  • LD

    Update: So after negotiating a rate for a single platform app, making payment on said app, and awaiting the start date, the company calls and decided to cancel the contract because they didn't like what we originally agreed on for a fee. They are very shady and I would not recommend them as a professional option for service. Even though the site, email and signatures all say APPISCO, their contracts actually do not say that as their legal name. This place is very shady and because they are not listed in the BBB I was not able to file a formal complaint. DO NOT USE THEM. TRUST ME ON THIS ONE.

    • Ex Appisco Employee

      as per my information you got 100% of your money back, I was an ex employee there until last month and I personally saw your refund being paid, so you are nothing but a liar and a fraud yourself, also during my tenure there, you were blackmailing the company based on this article to get extra work done for peanuts.

      • GotCha

        And your name my friend would be Hakim Sadik. Why? Because no one else would have the amount of information you just shared. You are doing a good job keeping up with all the post via different names!

  • bill

    They are sold to axact, they are out.

  • ali shah

    And the Heineken press release still has my name on it. I don't know about the rest but back in 2010, I was handling the Euro RSCG account.

  • Supporter of Truth

    Hello,

    Wanted to chime in. I hired these guys in July 2013 and I had some issues, but they came through. My project leader's name in Tabish. He is great. They are wrapping up my project now which includes iOS, Android, web, website and 3d Animated video.

    Hoping to lauch everything by no later than 2nd week of June 2014.

    I will provide an update when we launch.

    I was a skeptic especially when I read this article in the beginning of 2014. However, at least in my case, I would recommend Tabish and his group who do work for Avenue Social.

    Best of luck to all

  • rob

    Salman now has entered into the IT- hardware business. he has a website in USA called http://www.itechdevices.com ( in fremont , ca ) and in UK http://www.cable&devices.com. someone should investigate these sites & locations

  • Sab04

    My project I had set up with avenue social was 12k. i have paid 10 k so far which I really regret. My application is being completed at an extremely slow rate. I doubt I will ever receive a fully functional ios and android app as agreed.

    So whats the deal here, we have all these people here explaining how they have all be victims of these businesses shady practices yet there is no justice to be found ? Has anyone had any success taking legal actions ? There must be something we can do...

    • rocks

      What is the name of your project?

  • Prince

    They are still operating..... What's the use of this awesome investigation if you or any of us can't stop them. They're still operating and robbing people off their valuable cash. I had been part of this Salsoft for more than you can think, I did my work honestly of what was asked. I delivered many completions but still I have the anger left how they used us to deceive people.

    Now I am still waiting for my salary release that they have not even bothered to give after I resigned and my provident fund is also withheld just because they don't like people leaving.

    • rocks

      what is your name?

      • Prince

        My name does not matter here. I thought of getting my frustration out, so I did it.
        Apart from this, they're not totally scam. Deliverables are there but yes, their operations is not neat.

        • Mario

          Prince tell your name then Salman will threatened you by asking his baby boy Rahyan

  • SmellFishy

    I hope what encouraged you to write about a company in this much detail which of course require hell lot of time.

    Something smells fishy....

  • Arsalan

    Finally Salsoft has been shutdown due losses faced by company. Salman Ghazanvi has run away without paying salaries to his employees and sold the compnay to Rahyan (https://www.facebook.com/rahyan/). He will run the compnay with another name Raymsystems.

    • d

      from what i heard, all employees are getting paid, they are just taking some time due to financial issues but everyone is getting paid slowly.

      • Cupid

        You heard wrong. Employees are being paid half the amount at the end of the second month. What would an employee do in that case?

        • Danish

          they are being paid aren't they??? What fraud company pays their employee in half or anything at all. This means they are paying everyone slowly after recovering from their loss. I know who you are and why you are trying to ruin the company name. But your judgement is with God and not me.

      • Guest

        We are still waiting for our dues from by Salsoft as well as from Raymsystems

  • Salsoft

    Hello Guy, and cowards who are people to discuss and where you from to say about these scams, if you are bold enough why don't you mention your name numbers and come on the board and say whatever you want, your just making bull shit out of nothing there might be few things wrong but not wrong as you people are showing lots of the writers are X salsoftians they learned from here they made money from here now making abuse of the company from where they groomed there career, very unjust if you people are so good do some justice, sharing the pictures of picnics every company do have it sharing the picture of parties every company do that it doesn't mean that you people use each and every point as negative if your are brave enough and fair enough say the truth showing your self who you are what are your concerns, I am really disappointed with those who made themselves from here and everyone has to Answer God just like Salman of Salsoft so you people dont think that after blaming for what is wrong or playing with career of lots of resources who worked here and working here you'll be somewhere some place you'll be caught and might face the same, so i think look into yourself how clean you people are how much you follow the laws, how good you are especially some rival companies who are doing this how good they are and how good they doing with there employees and unfortunately lots of pakistanis have habit they don't leave there country and mentioning it bad after leaving pakistan, this is only a company, Salsoft might had what it deserve but I think you people start thinking what you deserve

    • Cupid

      And this make you what exactly by not sharing your name? The English is purely Rayhan Khan style English, I am sure you know what I mean ;)

      • Cupid Love

        10/10 for this.

  • http://www.massagebeach.com Matthew

    Hello all,

    Can someone please help?

    I too have stupidly fallen for this scam and paid €8150 to date for an app that has not been delivered. The team at Appbury are not responding to my emails nor are they have closed the project on the internal site.

    I am based in the UK and trying to recoup the money I have paid. Can anyone recommend a good attorney based in the San Francisco area? Has anyone used an attorney and had any success?

    Help will be very gratefully received.

    Thanks,

    Matt

    • Gary

      Just keep pressing them, that's what I did and tell your bank of the scam. You may not get all the money back.

  • Arsalan

    Salsoft is now working with another name Raymsystem in Pakistan. They have come up with another fake company (http://raymsystems.com/) to cheat people again. Please be care full in dealing with this new fake company.

    http://raymsystems.com/

    • geem

      you sound like a disgruntled employee and some evil jealous person wanting to destroy a new company and this too in the holy month of ramazan, also salsoft has nothing to do with Raymsystem.

      • Waheeda

        then why do they have same landline numbers ?

        • Zahid

          Because they are using the same office for now. as raymsystems is new and cant afford to leave that infrastructure at once.

          • Rehan

            How much does it cost to get new landline number ? You can't make us fool al the time. AppzVision / Raymsystem is a scam.

          • Zahid

            Its not the cost of the landline, its the infrastructure. when they are using the same infrastructure for now than whats the point to get a new landline. They are not scam that's why they didn't changed the landline. Ever wonder if an idiot like you (earning some thousands) can predict it than why wouldn't they? use your mind not your jealousy..

          • Majid

            How Raymsystems can use the same office, telephone numbers, etc if they knew that Salman is fraud.

      • Majid

        Did Salsoft and Raymsystem clear his ex-employees dues?

    • Rashid

      Raymsystems is also own by Salman to complete clean his mess (refund projects) and Raymsystems is also not paying the dues of his ex-employee.

  • Arsalan

    Here is a proof that RaymSystem / Salsoft / appzvision are the same company. Salman has run away without paying salaries and PF to their employees. Rahyan (https://www.facebook.com/rahyan ) is running the company on behalf of Salman.
    Here is the proof RaymSystem / Salsoft / appzvision are the same company. Please have look at the phones numbers you will get know the reality.

  • Rahman

    They have come up with another company AppzVision to cheat people.
    http://www.appzvision.com/contact-us.html
    Salsoft / RaymSystem / AppzVision are the same company. You can check their phone numbers they all have same numbers.

    • jack

      and you pointing this out by spoiling their reputation, how does that help you. Appzvision has nothing to do with Salsoft, Salsoft is closing down all their app brands forever after completing the final work of clients.

  • Gary

    Thank god someone did something. I finally got all my money back from these guys. I literally received a call from them today.

  • Jim

    i got my source code and refund also from them

  • Basit

    Salman Ghaznavi now earning more then Salsoft from itech so why he will back to salsoft employees soon he will kick out Rayhan and Omair ahahaha both will pay for their loyalty

    • ex-employee

      He is running Cable & Devices http://cableanddevices.co.uk from his Lahore office and he also has the development there that is why he fired all this Karachi employees.

  • David Rudolf

    This guy after ditching thousands of US citizens purchased his on helicopter and living happily somewhere in United States. Hell Yeah , where are govt bodies . He must be behind bars.

    • david

      >>>

      • Adil Motla

        I know Salman more then years now he is such a nice and reasonable guy I have ever seen. It is just shame on you that you are spoiling some ones family and personal life. Being US citizen I am going to file a case against android police. This is just shameful that in name of freedom of speech you are destroying some one personal life and exposing his family on public Foram... If we did not stand for such shame act today these so called android police can ruin anyone's family like this just Shame on you and get ready for being exposed

        • Ex-Employee

          There are almost 80+ employees in Karachi, Pakistan who are still waiting for their salaries and provident fund and he terminate all of his employee with out any notice.

          If you are talking about the Law then he should give them a 30 days notice period before terminating or pay them one month extra salary during termination but he terminate all of them and didn't pay their dues and he run from Pakistan like little cunt.

        • Ex-Employee

          We never get any chance to complete any project because Salman always halt the project after UI integration (Aplha) and now we know what was the reason behind this. Salman gets 80% payment from his clients on UI integration.

    • Ex-Employee

      I wish one day somebody will do the same with him. He is also not paying the dues of his employees as well as their provident fund.

      Here is his another business he his running named Cable & Devices https://cableanddevices.co.uk

  • Guest

    ...

  • Ex but faithful employee

    David Ruddock, you should be ashamed of yourself for allowing this sort of propaganda on your article. This is someones family and private pictures that you are allowing on your blog. People with a vendetta are posting these picture based on malice. They are using names similar to yours to post these pictures and tarnish someone's image. Purchased his own helicopter, what a joke, can't you see that this picture has been taken just to pose in front of a helicopter rather than owning one. As far as making stories go, this is the limit but the sad thing is that you stand quiet and watch from the crowd and enjoy. This is what bad journalism is all about. The person claims thousands of US citizen have been ditched. If that is the true case then why do you think there has been no formal inquiry or case so far. I'll tell you why? As per my knowledge, they have either delivered apps to all their clients or refunded their money. Because of your article, many customers took 100% refunds for apps which were 100% delivered but they used this article as blackmail. Many customers asked for refunds for apps which were 80% completed just because of this article. They demanded and took 100% of the money back including money for work which was completely done. They have given over US$ 500,000 in refunds and are now bankrupt. Is this what you call justice. Trust me man, what goes around comes around. Karma will get you as well for the wrong you have done. Posting someones family pictures just to shine your blog. Its disgusting.

    • Ron Miller

      Shame on androidpolice and so called journalist

    • Ex-Employee

      I don't think you are faithful ex-employee you might be Hakim, Usman or Umair and for your information all the ex-employees are waiting for their salaries and provident fund because Salman terminate them without any notice and he closed all the projects on basecamp by informing their the clients that company is now bankrupt.

  • bobw

    I have a friend that paid to have a mobile app created with Socia Jitney. The contract was with Social Jitney but somehow ended up being done by Appisco (based on the email addresses of the devs involved). Suddenly the company went bankrupt and was bought by Apps Lodge and what is interesting is that the name of the company that went bankrupt, which supposedly was doing the work, was Appbury (not sure how it went from SocialJitney to Appisco to Appbury). Regardless, the app is maybe 50% done, the quality is horrendous, and I'm not sure what to tell my friend because he has already spent a lot of money on this app. I think the best he can do is try to get what little source code they have and hire another firm.

  • Guest201

    bloody blackmailer.. This is not the only company they target in their last 4 years publication history. They take money from competitors and do these shameful act. Shame on you bloody russian buggers

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    TL;DR All TL;DR comments after the first one will be removed.

  • djakdekiel

    But...but... I have edited... saved to pocket... :(

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    Not quick enough!