Updated

emax.bmpEMax says it is a new startup in Palo Alto, Calif. launched this week by “a bunch of ex-marketing guys from PayPal,” according to a tipster. It looks like another company that promises to make you rich off the Web, if you jump on its bandwagon early.

However, there’s something fishy about it, and it may be a prank. The tipster, named “Max Levchin,” used the name of the PayPal co-founder. However, the tipster used poor English, which caused suspicion because we know Max is meticulous. We contacted the real Max, and sure enough, Max says it wasn’t him. We contacted EMax, and haven’t heard back yet. We’re wondering who Elliot Lee is, owner of the domain. [Update: VentureBeat just reached Elliot at his Palo Alto home, and he insists the site is for real, but said he doesn’t know who contacted us. Strangely, he wouldn’t confirm or deny being a former PayPal employee. He suddenly had to go, but said he’s available to talk Wednsday. Stay tuned for second dispatch of this bizarre story]. So here’s what the site says it does:

It is very similar to Agloco, the site we wrote about here. Like Agloco, it wants to go public, and then allows you the shareholder to benefit by having public stock.

Like Agloco, it says it wants to gather users together so that they can boost their purchasing power through group buys – it pitches “instantaneous and compelling discounts at popular national chain stores, restaurants, and service providers without any of the usual sacrifices.”

If Agloco sounded a bit like a pyramid scheme, so does eMax. It offers an iPod giveaway for referring your friends to sign up.

Here is the FAQ. If nothing else, this spoof/launch will scare Agloco into finally releasing its Viewbar, which is due out any day now. It is amazing how many people fall for these things. Agloco aims to sign up 10 million people by July.