It is time for Nigerians to learn first-hand from the Zimbabweans counterpart who are already shedding tears over their loss.
Thousands of people, among them civil servants and vendors, have lost thousands of dollars to fraudulent online pyramid scheme MMM Global Zimbabwe after it collapsed recently. The social financial network, which relied on an accelerating number of new members to pay off the old, abruptly terminated its services last week leaving participants stranded.
The scheme advertises itself as a mutual aid fund under which recruited members contribute money to assist others and are promised investment returns of 30 percent per month. MMM stands for Mavrodi Mondial Moneybox and takes its name from its founder, Sergei Panteleevich Mavrodi of Russia. He founded MMM in 1989 and the scheme was declared bankrupt three years later leading to the disappearance of Mavrodi until his arrest in 2003.
While some people who were skeptical about the scheme started with small amounts, it is believed some poured in thousands of dollars anticipating higher returns. The RBZ said the schemes were fraudulent as existing investors were ‘paid money not from genuine market investment of their funds, but from contributions made by new investors, until a point when the scheme can no longer attract new investors,”
“The participants are made aware that they make their money by recruiting new members who in turn must recruit more members,” warned the Central Bank.