Depression

The phrase easy come, easy go according to the urban dictionary can be best described as when ‘something good happens easily, it easily can be taken away or destroyed’

In the light of the above however, the trust of this piece lies in the too good to be true lies associated with what is known as ‘Ponzi schemes’. The foregoing however raises some questions as to what a ‘Ponzi scheme’ is.

A Ponzi scheme can be best described as ‘a fraudulent investment operation where the operator, an individual or organisation pays returns to its investors from new capital paid to the operators by new investors, rather than from profit earned through legitimate sources’. In others words, it is a case of ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’. Ponzi scheme are characterised by operators offering higher returns than other investments, taking the form of short-term returns that is unreasonably high.

It is one record that the word ‘Ponzi’ is nicknamed after Charles Ponzi, an Italian, who in the year 1920, migrated to America. Charles Ponzi became well known for his notorious act in establishing the scheme, which hit a total collapse with millions being owed to investors. Although it is widely believed that he did not invent the fraudulent scheme, but he was at the forefront in establishing the scheme.

In relation to the aforementioned, the month of November 2015 witnessed the coming of what came to be known as ‘Mavrodi Mondial Movement’ (MMM) Nigeria in Nigeria’. The scheme promised investors a 30% return on investments as well as other bonuses, which includes ‘referrals’.

The scheme claimed to be a community of people helping people to create a balanced society for all. Those who were desperate for quick riches did not give it a second thought before signing up to the scheme. The scheme had certain rules and used two basic terms in its operations in Nigeria. These terms became known as the ‘PH and GH’, simply put, ‘Provide help and Get help’

Crowd.

In no distant time, 3.4 million Nigerians had signed up for the scheme as at March 2016. It became more worrisome as the participants in the scheme referred to themselves as mavrodians and went about holding seminars and gaining more gullible followers into their fold. By November 2016, the number of sign-ups were placed at 5.6 million and as the days rolled past, the gospel of MMM gained more grounds.

In a bid to avoid what could be termed as character assassination, I will protect the identity of a close friend who went as far as selling off his car to invest in the scheme. Some withdrew their savings from the banks just to invest in the scheme; others took loans from banks, friends and multipurpose cooperative societies in a bid to invest and join the league of ‘quick money makers’.Suffice it to say however, that the Nigeria government through the Security and Exchange Commission and the House of Representatives also known as the ‘Hallowed Green Chamber warned Nigerians to desist from the scheme as it was a fraudulent one. Members of the green chamber also called on security agencies such as the Nigerian Police Force and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to track down those are the forefront of promoting the scheme in the country.

Despite these reoccurring warnings from the federal government of Nigeria, some persons still went ahead to join the scheme as well as inviting friends and family members to tag along.  Those who could not hold back their joy considering the monies they were getting from the scheme took to celebrate the scheme through their Facebook pages and twitter accounts.

No sooner than it seemed the scheme had come to stay, as believed by many considering the outflow of testimonies they tagged as ‘financial freedom’.  It however seemed the sweet days were gradually slowly stopping as the operators of the scheme, took to their twitter handle to announce the following.

“MMM has always advised that you use your spare money. Use your spare money and spare money. Don’t be unnecessarily greedy,” it tweeted.

Just barely a day after the operators of the scheme had made the first announcement; it made another announcement via the page of the scheme’s platform.

 Dear members!

As usual, in the New Year season the System is experiencing heavy workload. Moreover, it has to deal with the constant frenzy provoked by the authorities in the mass media. The things are still going well; the participants feel calm; everyone gets paid – as you can see, there haven’t been any payment delays or other problems yet – but!.. it is better to avoid taking risk.:-)) (Moreover, there are almost three weeks left to the New Year.)

Hence, on the basis of the above mentioned, from now on all confirmed Mavro will be frozen for a month.

The reason for this measure is evident. We need to prevent any problems during the New Year season, and then, when everything calms down, this measure will be cancelled. (Which we will definitely do.:-))

We hope for your understanding
Administration.

Money

Suffice it to say however, that seconds turned into minutes, minutes in hours and hours into days, what looked like a mere break soon turned out to be a ‘system collapse’. The scheme never came back into operations. It then dawned on many participants that they have been defrauded. It is worth sharing but at the same time so disheartening, that due to the collapse of the scheme, it was reported that one of the participants committed suicide as he had invested so much money without being able to get it back.

In a report by the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation, it became known that an estimated three million Nigerians lost N18 billion in the Mavrodi Mundial Movement, MMM, Ponzi scheme.

It becomes noteworthy now to state that MMM ponzi scheme has operated and defrauded the vast majority of people in the following countries: Russia, Brazil china, Indonesia, India, Kenya, Zimbabwe and has commenced operations in Ghana as well as other countries using the name ‘MMM United’.

This is however, a wakeup call for everyone to beware and be on the lookout, as the operators of these ponzi schemes come in different shapes and sizes and are known to be sweet talkers.