BY: SAM NWANZE
With the apparent crash of the Ponzi scheme, Mavrodi Mundial Movement popularly called ‘MMM’ in Nigeria recently, Nigerians who had hoped to use the online money scheme to make fast and easy money, have jumped into the local versions which sprang up to fill the gap the failed MMM venture may have created.
This is in defiance of the warnings by the monetary authorities in the country that such financial ventures portend danger and high risk. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had on various occasions, warned Nigerians to desist from venturing into Ponzi schemes which could not be regulated and whose operators and their places of businesses cannot be traced but the warning was ignored until the recent crash of the scheme which affected many Nigerians who had invested in the scheme.
Recent investigations showed that as soon as the MMM scheme showed signs of crash as they could not fulfill their promises after coming back from the suspension they slammed on the scheme early December, 2016, many other sites suddenly opened with varied claims and mouthwatering financial promises. Incidentally, many Nigerians who are crazy about fast and easy money are registering into the new projects without thinking about its implications.
The popular ones now which have attracted large patronages according to our findings are; Get Help World Wide, SwissGold, Money Network, Twinkle Money Star, amongst others. Their systems of operations are similar from what MMM offered but interests on investments differ.
For example, SwissGold, from our online research, claim they sell gold bars to the public in small amounts. They also claim to operate what they called “market programme which operates as a money earning network marketing structure for those who are interested in getting involved”. It claimed that the scheme is “Expert ways to make money online”.
A participant in this scheme, who gave her name simply as Victoria, said that “It is a business for those who want big money fast and are ready to take high risks”.
She said most people who engage in the business are aware of the CBN’s warning but pointed out that “there is nothing wrong in going into high risk business, since government cannot take care of the common people”.
She said she was part of MMM but had to jump into other similar projects when her friends approached her.
“I was part of the MMM business and when my N350,000 was trapped, I had to bear it and follow one of my friends to the one many people are now trooping into. The new scheme has a tenure of one month and interest of 30 percent if one is to be paid in local currency or 50 percent if the participant choses to be paid in Bitcoin”, she said.
Get Help World Wide is another online money scheme which is popular now. It also has one month tenure of investment, and between 30 – 50 percent turn on investment. According to a participant, Okechukwu Ngene, who said , “Apart from the high interest embedded in this scheme, there are other bonuses which those who register enjoy”. On the risk factor, he sharply said, “Life is all about risks and Nigeria is now a jungle where only the hard-hearted survives; if you wait for the government to give you a job, you will die while waiting”.
This line of thinking was also echoed by Madam Victoria who said many Nigerians are suffering and this kind of business is attractive because it gives easy and fast money within a short time of investment.