New 7 Wonders of Nature Contest Is A Money Scam?

I'm sure all of us voted for the Puerto Princesa Underground River after it was advertised on our Local TV news, newspapers, blogs and more!  My family even texted to join the contest.  Everyone was even proud the the Puerto Princesa Underground River was declared as one of the winners.  

Then suddenly, a shocking news reveals that the New 7 Wonders of Nature Contest is a Money Scam!  Uh-oh! How did that happen?  Many countries were involved in this too right?

They even showed that they are supported by UNESCO.  (Check out this link)
Yet, UNESCO stated it wasn't.  (Check out this link)

Who is under the contest?
  • Bernard Weber, a swiss-born now canadian film maker, aviator, and adventurer.  Founder of the two companies below:
    • 7 Wonders Foundation, a non-profit organization to show that no one is really profiting from this thing.
    • New Open World Corporation (NOWC), a for-profit company, established to run the voting campaign.
How does the money transfer work?
Simple, the money is transfer from the non-profit to the for-profit company as payment for its service.

How do they collect the money?
  • Entry fee of  $185 
  • Charging contestant sponsorship Fees/licensing Fees worth hundred of dollars
  • NOWC partnered up with numerous telecommunications companies around the world to offer voting by SMS or text message which charged a cost.  (2.50 php per text here in the Philippines)
  • Online shop for merchandises and certificates as proof for voting
So what do you guys think?  A brilliant scheme for a money scam or not?