By Bilyamin Abdulmumin
In the first part of this article, Ponzi alias pyramid schemes were discussed in detail, including their cunning modus operandi. If you come to these schemes with suspicion and scepticism, the chance is that you would notice some funny or dubious traits associated with them. The second part wishes to discuss these traits.
An obsession to prove originality
When someone is not truthful, he knows. So, he will assume the suspect mode consciously or unconsciously. He will always show the urge to convince others that he is a saint. This phenomenon is a funny trademark of Ponzi schemes.
These vague platforms float all kinds of certificates at any given opportunity to prove they are real. The more one becomes obsessed, the easier it becomes to detect his flaws. For instance, how could a firm claiming to be a global investment but floating a CAC with business name registration (which even a market woman can get) as evidence of originality? Many Ponzi agents woo potential subscribers with certificates as evidence of legitimacy, “mai kaza a aljihu ba ya jimirin” as” loosely means “he who has a skeleton in the cupboard live in fear.”
In this 21st century, communication has become a fundamental part and parcel of any firm, especially the one claiming to be a global player. Any renowned firms there will seek to prove to be professionals in their platforms and customer service delivery. For instance, if you visit any Nigerian telecommunications or bank platforms or engage their customer service agency, you will find them very professional. Likewise, their command of the English language is standard. But that is not the case with many Ponzi schemes. One will find their platform full of average written English, their responses sometimes as good as any street English user. I have observed one costly mistake from these platforms; they kept replying “transaction successced (sic)” instead of “transaction succeeded” This is an embarrassing mistake no firm would afford.
Definite and stable gains
Market forces dictate that there is always a level of uncertainty for the return of any investment, but not in the world of seemingly Ponzi schemes. Most legitimate investments are based on “gain and loss”. Sometimes the investment return will be much, small, or even deficit depending on the market forces. Still, as mysterious as it is, this basis of ‘gain and loss’ does not exist in the realm of Ponzi schemes. The song is always the same in these fraudulent platforms: gain and gain, invest x naira and recoup 2x naira.
Some market forces not long ago that caught the global economy unaware were Covid-19 and Ukraine inversion by Russia. The only market immune from the shocks was the Ponzi scheme. So, dear investors looking for easy money, wake up and smell the coffee.
Of course, anyone who wants to play a shady game will woo others into believing him by camouflaging a well-known establishment. The Ponzi schemers are masters of camouflage. They float a famous brand as their own. But a simple way to discern this trait is by noting the difference in name between the platform and its website address; let me emphasize this point by riding on the back of the white paper issued on Sunpower.
Sunpower is an acclaimed online investment but was found untrustworthy by “nogofallmaga”, an NGO dealing with scam practices. The pseudo-Ponzi scheme is known everywhere as Sunpower, but their website name is www.sunsolar.one. This appears to be camouflage because there is a genuine global brand with the name Sunpower and has www.sunpower.com as its website address. So, dear Sunpower, why is the vagueness (brand name different from the website address)?
The dubious and funny traits of fraudulent platforms are many. Control your desire for windfalls, and it becomes difficult to sell you a dummy.
Bilyamin Abdulmumin wrote via email@example.com.