Varun Malhotra is a self-proclaimed finance expert who sells seminars and courses to people who want to become financially free. He markets heavily to the working class and sells them a dream, he tells them that anyone can become a crorepati. But is he a scammer? Short answer: Yes, Varun Malhotra is a scammer. Long answer, this whole post.
I created this report after a victim of Varun’s scam messaged me and asked if I can help him get a refund of ₹XXXX. This got me interested and I started looking into this whole scheme. After hours of research and writing, here’s my full report on the Varun Malhotra review scam:
Who is Varun Malhotra?
My Varun Malhotra review wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t share his past.
Although you can’t trust his word, there aren’t many sources to find information about Varun Malhotra’s background. So, for this section, I have used his website’s My Story section to tell you what he really is.
Like most fake gurus, Varun also has a cliche story. According to Varun, his journey in investment and finance started when he was 13 and his dad bought him a book on Warren Buffett.
He made his first investment when he was 17 and has been teaching investing to people ever since. Varun opted out of campus placement at IIM Ahmedabad in 2009 and decided to teach people how to invest.
According to his own words, he never really worked as a professional. He started his career as a guru and taught people how to invest.
He claims that since 2010, he has trained nearly 550,000 investors along with the entire 250,000 of India’s BSF (Border Security Force). He sells an investment program called FLAP, and he claims that he has conducted its webinars and seminars for schools, hospitals, Fortune 500 companies, and many other organizations for free.
That’s it. He doesn’t share any other information about his past. It’s probably because there isn’t much to share.
Varun started his career as an investment guru and he has been teaching people ever since he graduated. How many people are experts in something when they graduate? If a fresh graduate came to you one day and told you he will teach you to be rich, would you trust him?
But this story has been working for Varun. After all, he has been running his teaching business for over a decade now.
Every fake guru has a story like this. They all claim to have a normal background and then out of nowhere, they find something that makes them rich and out of generosity, they wish to teach other people the same thing which made them rich.
However, don’t forget the disclaimers attached to their generosity: they aren’t responsible if their methods don’t work and their secret is expensive because they can only make money by selling this secret of making money.
Financial Literacy Intensive Program is An Overpriced & Useless Course!
Skewed EIFS Refund Policy
All the information provided in this course is available for free on big financial blogs like Investopedia.com.
7 days is simply not enough for a student to evaluate whether the course is good enough or not. A legitimate course seller will give you a 30 day refund period (Udemy does this), and not a 7 day one.
Varun has deliberately kept the Refund period short to make sure the least amount of people take a refund even if they are not satisfied. Because he doesn’t care whether his customers are happy or not, because the customers are powerless here, what can they possibly do, complaint online? Varun has set up a system to bury complaints which we will look into later in this review.
How Varun Uses Paid PR To Manipulate People
Varun is an unqualified con-artist, so he doesn’t get any legitimate coverage from the press, he has to pay for every nice thing you see about him online.
What good is a story if no one hears about it?
Varun Malhotra is aware of this fact. He understands that if he wants to get more students (or should I say victims?), he must promote his story everywhere.
To do so, he uses paid PR. In paid PR, you pay promotion agencies and Public Relations companies to publish articles about you or your company in esteemed publications.
There are many benefits to doing so. First, it makes people aware of your company. They get to read about you in a newspaper or a popular platform, which might make them interested in your brand.
Second, it makes you look good in the public eye. When you read an article on Forbes praising a startup you’ve never heard of, the startup would leave a positive first impression on you.
And first impressions matter a lot in the marketing industry. That’s why companies make so much hype whenever they want to launch a new product.
Almost all companies use paid PR. Varun has also used it and he boasts about it on his website:
I’m not against using paid PR. What I’m against is what a person is promoting through their paid PR efforts.
In the case of Varun Malhotra, he is using the reputation of esteemed platforms and publications like Zee Business and TED to promote his “get rich quick schemes”.
His good-for-nothing courses don’t help anyone except him.
Let’s take a look at each of the website articles Malhotra presents on his website:
This is the article Zee Business has posted on Varun Malhotra. If you read through the article you’ll realize that it is just an ad for Varun’s course/seminar. The article covers dull and obvious finance concepts and it is obvious that it is the work of a low-paid content writer who usually works for such PR firms in India.
The Economic Times:
I was taken aback when I saw the Economic Times logo on Varun’s website as ET is usually more cautious and doesn’t promote scammers. During my research I could not find any articles on Varun Malhotra posted by The Economic Times, all I found was a broken Facebook post that redirects to the ET homepage.
Here’s what I think probably happened. The PR firm somehow got their article published in The Economic Times, however, the ET editor later saw the scummy post and removed it.
This is extremely misleading! Varun Malhotra has NEVER given a “TED” talk, he has given a “TEDx” talk, which is completely different from a TED Talk.
Anyone can do a TEDx, all they need is some money and a “friend” who can link them with a TEDx community.
TED Corporations LLC have very strict policies over usage of their logos and Varun Malhotra is breaking their guidelines by using their logo on his website, but don’t worry, being the sneaky thief he is, he will probably remove the logo after reading this article to avoid any sort of legal trouble.
I googled Varun Malhotra Dainik Bhaskar, and nothing showed up. From what I have gathered Dainik Bhaskar took notes from ET and probably deleted their post, or maybe Varun never got an article posted there and is blatantly lying on his website’s homepage.
It seems like Varun Malhotra is doing everything he can to manipulate people into sending him money. Most people don’t know that even big Indian publications will make a post promoting a scammer for some cash. They tend to think that if a person has been covered by big news media houses then he must be legit. And con-artists like Varun Malhotra and Rohini Mundra, use such tactics to take advantage of innocents.
Fake Varun Malhotra (Edge Institute for Financial Studies) Reviews Everywhere
Apart from the articles on media websites, Varun has also paid blackhat marketers to post fake testimonials on a Quora thread that pops up when you Google his name.
The answer with the most upvotes on the Quora thread (I am a beginner in the stock market, is it good to take Varun Malhotra FLIP in order to have complete knowledge?), is actually written by Varun’s marketing team.
At first glance you might think that “Ankita Kumar” is a legitimate customer of Varun, however, if we go on her profile we will see that this account has zero activity! The whole account is made for misleading people into trusting Varun Malhotra’s scam.
Fake Trustpilot Profiles Varun Malhotra’s Team Made For Fake Reviews:
If you thought the paid PR tactics were unethical, then get ready for some actual criminal activity.
If you go on Google and search for “Varun Malhotra reviews”, you’ll see his Trustpilot listing on the top. The Trustpilot listing of Varun Malhotra has a whopping 4.8/5 rating, which is simply amazing. But can you trust this rating? We can find the answer by digging deeper.
Let’s go to the Trustpilot listing and read a couple of reviews. You’ll notice that majority of the reviews have a very similar tone. Not only that but if you look carefully, you’ll see that ALL the reviewers have only posted 1 review on Trustpilot. A real user of review platforms like Trustpilot and Reviews.io, post more than 1 review. The fact that all the reviews on Varun’s listing have been written by accounts that have no other reviews is a big red flag!
There are blackhat marketing firms that sell Trustpilot reviews. These people make fake Trustpilot accounts and will post fake 5-star reviews on your listing if you pay them money.
This is THE most common tactic used by fake gurus in India. They often hire a cheap marketing firm and they post these fake testimonials on their review listings.
Investment Experts Avoid Varun Malhotra!
I’m not the first person to question if Varun Malhotra is legit, intelligent users on Quora and Reddit have looked into this scam as well.
Saikat Ghosh, a Ph.D. Scholar and Senior Researcher at IIT Kharagpur calls Varun Malhotra an “Idiot” and “illiterate”. And anyone with even the basic knowledge about how finance works will state the same.
A Reddit user noticed Varun’s scam 2 years ago and tried to spread awareness by making a post. This post is hard to find as Varun’s fake PR articles and fake reviews have buried actual complaints and criticism. In this post the user u/sam_winchester exposes the idiotic assumptions that Varun made in his video titled “Earn 1.5 crore with NPS”.
Chances are, you never saw these posts before this, but why?
Let me tell you why, it’s because of all the sponsored articles Varun’s team has posted. They hide threads like these so they can pose as legitimate businessmen instead of the lowly scammers they actually are.
Refund Scam: How Varun Steals Money From Customers
I know there are going to be Varun’s fanboys and affiliate marketers reading this going “How can you say he is a scam, he is just marketing his product”, and this section will only prove that Varun Malhotra is a criminal scammer.
If you sell a product or a service online, you have to have a refund policy. Customers of Amazon and Flipkart sometimes don’t like the product they received so they ask for a refund for it and these companies never hesitate to give their customers a refund. Why? Because they are actual companies, not scams. Varun on the other hand doesn’t refund! On VarunMalhotra.co.in, there’s a small hidden section that covers their Refund Policy, and according to it, you cannot get a Varun Malhotra refund!
You might ask, “Why doesn’t he give refunds”. Let me tell you why, it’s because he realizes that anyone who buys his terrible courses will soon realize that they have made a mistake and will ask for a refund. And with a hidden Refund Policy, he can shut them up. When these victims will try to speak up against this scam, Varun’s marketing team will shut them up and bury their complaints with fake positive reviews and articles.
Varun uses his own website to redirect you to a 3rd party domain (https://fliponline.dudaone.com/) this gives him the liberty to sell you programs without legal liabilities. This 3rd party domain often changes to make sure that they don’t get caught.
Varun Malhotra Complaints Buried By Fake PR
If you try to look for EIFS reviews or Varun Malhotra reviews, you’ll mostly see paid articles or fake customer testimonials on Facebook and Trustpilot. This might make you think that Varun is a trustable entity and has excellent customer service. But dig a little deeper, and you’ll see ugly complaints like the ones in the screenshots below:
These complaints were made by a victim of Varun’s scam, but these are overlooked by most people because they are buried under sponsored articles and misleading affiliate posts.
Varun Malhotra Review 2021 Verdict: Scam
Varun Malhotra is a scammer who relies on sponsored posts, hidden disclaimers, and the naivety of people to run his scheme. He takes advantage of middle-class people who want financial freedom and he leeches them for thousands of rupees. Varun Malhotra scam works on the principles of criminal manipulation and fake reviews. It is strongly recommended that you stay away from him and his associates.
Place here Description for your reviewbox
- Mediocre Free Content
- Fake 5-Star Reviews
- Scams Innocents
- Discredited By Experts
- No Refunds
- Buries Customer Complaints