If an investment is simply too good to be true, it’s probably fraud and that’s how simple it is for you to tell and quickly run away since you will be about to be scammed.
Pyramid scheme fraudsters usually advertise a multi-level investment or social financing scheme that offers extraordinary profits or returns for very little or no risk to participants. They also make it seem very easy to recruit new members and in fact in the early days it may be easy for early entrants to recruit new participants but this become increasingly difficult over a short period of time.
Yesterday, Safaricom finally flexed their giant muscle by shutting down the paybill number used by Public Likes. This effectively took away the pyramid scheme’s most important avenue to collect cash. They have recently incorporated bank transfer as a payment method, but it is believed that more than 99% of their money passed through M-Pesa.
The scam which operates like the Social Trade scam in India, has been the talk of the town with most users confessing how they were either promised money or making some.
Sources at Safaricom have indicated that they discontinued all incoming and outgoing transactions on the account until their internal investigations reveal what really happened on the line.
But don’t we know that ponzi or pyramid scammers always lure their victims by having the initial adopters make money before shutting down the whole operation without announcement at some stage, like what happened in Zimbabwe and South Africa. Last year thousands of people cried foul after losing their hard-earned money to MMM Global Pyramid Scheme.
How the Scam Operated
The scam ran its course and it did pay off for some people until it didn’t. It is an online paying job where one is Paid To Click (PTC). Upgrading one’s account ensured more Adverts to Click on. The cheapest account upgrade is Ksh 4,500 then Ksh 14,000, and the mother of all account upgrades is the Ksh 90,000.
The scam paid off even more once an upgraded account recruited other people and got them to upgrade their accounts. It is safe to say that it slowly became a pyramid scheme that has conned unsuspecting Kenyans.
According to a user, money withdrawals had to be made in the wee hours of the morning with some requests taking days to be approved. Apparently, the least amount of money one could withdrawal was 5,000.
An upgraded account also had an expiry date meaning that should your account expire before reaching the minimum account balance, then there was no way of accessing your money without another account upgrade.
Public Likes recently introduced a bank withdrawal option, excuse being M-Pesa withdrawals had limits and were too many.
Some users have had difficulties withdrawing their money for close to two weeks now.
But it appears the end came sooner than they expected.
Don’t fall prey, smarten up.
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