1000’s of Kenyans are lamenting after dropping their hard-earned cash to a Ponzi scheme that, as at all times, was too good to be true.
Amazon Internet Employee Kenya had charmed its manner into their wallets with affords of fast riches. For folks determined for a fast path to success, this was the right alternative.
To earn a fee, members have been to deposit any quantity ranging from Sh300 and full sure duties at completely different ranges. One might additionally earn both by way of referrals or by locking the cash for a selected interval.
As an example, funds saved for seven days promised a return of about 24 p.c and, if you happen to prolonged the interval to a month, you had a 50 p.c revenue.
To hoodwink traders that they have been linked to Jeff Bezos’ E-commerce firm Amazon, they plastered the corporate’s emblem on their touchdown pages. To gullible Kenyans, that was sufficient proof to have them register and persuade others to affix. Buyers are actually crying foul that they’ll now not make withdrawals and the agency’s assist workers are unreachable.
The appliance, launched in Kenya final month with over 100, 00 downloads, has already been deleted from Google Play retailer. The developer’s particulars have additionally been erased on-line.
“I’ve been defrauded. I joined AWW, as we name it, final week, on the affect of my pal who termed it platform to generate profits. To speculate, I borrowed Sh8,000 from Safaricom’s Fuliza,” mentioned David Kamau, 35.
In only a week of becoming a member of and having earned Sh2,000, Mr Kamau was hooked. He even created a WhatsApp group to draw new traders.
“My plan was to maximise on the platform and make good cash earlier than it vanished. I knew it was only a matter of time as a result of this isn’t the primary time I’m becoming a member of such schemes. This time, I joined too late and it went down too quickly,” he mentioned.
Amazon Internet Employee may be the most recent monetary rip-off however undoubtedly not the primary. It has solely added its title to an inventory of Ponzi schemes, reminiscent of Crowd1, Public Likes, Daring Cashers and Petron Pay. Mr Robert Ochieng, a Nairobi-based finance and funding advisor, mentioned platforms promising traders excessive returns in a brief time frame are largely pyramid schemes.
“In a Ponzi scheme, the earliest traders are paid utilizing cash from becoming a member of traders. The scheme continues to develop as many people be a part of, then it crumbles as a result of it can not maintain itself,” he mentioned.
Final yr, monetary sector regulators, together with the Central Financial institution of Kenya, the Capital Markets Authority and Retirement Advantages Authority, warned of an increase of fraudulent and unregulated schemes.
“Be careful for corporations that promise excessive and constant returns. The probability of this taking place is slim and being requested to convey different traders on board may very well be a purple flag,” mentioned Mr Ochieng.
“Second, it is best to insist on inspecting monetary statements or data of such corporations and have a correct understanding of how the returns are generated. Being instructed there’s a good proprietary manner of producing returns will not be ok,” he added. You additionally must examine whether or not the corporate is regulated.
“With a few of these companies, all you could do is search them on-line and you’ll find a number of purple flags. It may very well be of their location or grammatical errors of their posts,” mentioned Mr Ochieng.