At least once every three months, there’s social media outburst on how one Ikechukwu Olumide and his wife, Philomena ran away with investors’ money of over NGN120 Billion. They were duped. People commit suicide, dreams are lost and life abandoned. While Mr and Mrs buy a new passport and relocate to Bermuda. But with all this will Nigerians ever stop believing Ponzi Schemes?
Maybe yes or maybe no or maybe just maybe. People want money and people want money NOW! There’s no saying what people will do to get money, especially in this top-to-bottom economy.
The Higher The Risk The Bigger The Returns.
This is how feeding people tell tales story to get their money. It’s a win-win. If you are not ready to risk then you are not ready to earn. This is what you get when people earn their MBAs from single-page finance websites. What they don’t tell their gullible users is getting 79% returns in 6 days is a myth. But we like risks and that’s what we tell our friends on WhatsApp when we are trying to swoon them to join.
When the CEO of the company has a well-flourishing LinkedIn page and goes live on Instagram every eke market day. “He cannot run away”, ” He has nothing to lose”, and “He started poor and he wants to lift people out of poverty”. These are the lies we tell ourselves until the account is wiped and gone with the wind.
Different Types of Ponzi Schemes in Nigeria
This is also network marketing. “The bring 1 person and earn money from referrals” group of scammers. The giant pyramid scheme. The progenitor of this was MMM. Later, we started hearing you don’t need to invest. You only need people to invest under you.
These are the people I lost money to. 10k for 50k in 12 hours. Lol, I didn’t put 10k sha o but money doubling is still full ground. Remember Loom? Na their type be this.
These ones clone already existing legit businesses like banks and international organizations. They send you fake links and then they still your details.
This type of scammers set up a legit-looking business, and tech-type apps. Then, one day the system just crashes. You know how on shows like Papa Ajasco microfinance banks collect money from people and then, one day customers go to the bank and see a tomato market. These are false fintech apps. With crypto and forex, this has gotten worse. They are abusing what is meant to help people for their selfish interests.
The thing about this set of scammers is that a few are legit or they start like that until they become greedy and start eating investors’ funds. Or they experience loss and decide to go and buy a house abroad.
Real Estate Scams
Real estate scams are the most hilarious because they are good closers. They can sell. By the time they start, you will think you are not serious with life until you see yourself on a piece of land you paid for in Lekki with 5 other people who hold C-of- Os. Or investing in elephant projects that never see the day of light but you can never withdraw your funds.
How To Avoid Being Scammed
One way or another, these Ponzi schemes will pop up on your radar. It is up to you to decide if you want to keep your money as yours, spend wisely or waste it as you like or you want to let Ahmed Chukwudi spend it on babes shaking their doctored bodies in Dubai. However, here is how to avoid being scammed by Ponzi schemes.
#1 Avoid Clicking Unknown Links
You see all those WhatsApp links that say they are federal government scholarships or that WHO is sharing rice and 5000 Naira to Nigerians. It is fake. Especially, when they have shortened URLs. They will clone your phone, hack your accounts and use your information to defraud people. Stop clicking unverified links on WhatsApp or any other social media. The Federal Government won’t give you 1 Million Naira through WhatsApp. They will announce with NTA.
#2 Don’t Be Greedy.
The desire to earn more money is what we all want. But that desire can overcome our sense and fiam, money is gone. This was how I lost money to money doubling. Sincerely, I was not stingy but I wanted magic to happen. I didn’t lose a lot though. But in simple terms, don’t have insect eyes. You will be told how many people have made it through the platform, and my dear, the temptation will be living with you in your bedroom. At this point, it is left to you.
#3 Always Double-Check
When someone introduces you to a new system to make money, shine your eye. Forget the passion, forget he is my friend e no fit lie for me. Their greed can quickly rub off on you. Most times, those who bring you in are benefitting from it.
#4 Ask Questions
Probe and probe. Most times, when you are about to be scammed, scammers don’t have the patience to deal with you. If you are wasting time, you are bad market. They will rather move on to others than dwell on you. If you have been missing the red flags, this one is with a red halogen bulb.
#5 Trust Your Gut
We are Nigerians and we are very superstitious and spiritual, I hope everyone is. But, we know when something is off. If you don’t feel comfortable with a transaction, let it go. Not all of us will make money from otutupoyoyo ventures. Use your money for Coldstone and lick away.
How Ponzi Schemes Operate in Nigeria
1. They payout a few of their customers to spread the word.
2. Hire their goons to spread the good news about their scheme.
3. They are always a tight-knit community. they are everywhere and you can’t challenge them.
4. They have fishy social media filled with aspire to perspire quotes.
5. They have rollouts of testimonials that never cease.
The truth is that most of these schemes are fully registered with the required government agencies, so you will never know the truth. When in doubt though, wait. Don’t lose the little money you have or what you have worked hard to accumulate to lazy folks who will never do something valuable with the money they have stolen. Please share your thoughts, opinions, and questions in the comment section. Also, sign up for my newsletter, a new note comes out every Saturday. Stay safe guys and till I come your way again, a drop of honey for your bank accounts.