Writer: Chris Maiso Tenderi

Money, we all need it and it is probably the major reason we wake up to work. It is what drives the economy and defines status. What if I told you that your money has the potential to kill you? I know what you are thinking; getting robbed and killed, murdered, assassinated etc. but that’s not what I mean.

Money making in Uganda is getting juicy each day and with that, we have a group of smart people that want to make a killing off many of us. These are fraudsters (Bafere) but the modernized exquisite version. These people appear in suits and speak with an accent, they look responsible, they appear rich and they will definitely mesmerize you into believing that what they have to offer is real.

There are so many get rich quick schemes floating in our economy. These people exploit the gaps in our systems to thrive with their quark business dealings. These guys run Ponzi schemes and pseudo crypto currencies and block chains. I didn’t know it is so easy to create a fake crypto currency company with a good I.T team and actually make a lot of money off unsuspecting clients and disappear. It is that easy to make money in Uganda. People are not well conversant with technology so I can open a “Ten coin” from my name Tenderi. (I am not doing that anytime soon and I didn’t give you a business idea because you will be arrested and I won’t be held responsible)

The honest truth is few people understand the technology and terms revolving around crypto currency and block chain. This is not a third world country problem, the first world countries are suffering too but we shall get to that later on. Right now, I need you to know one thing: If it is too good to be true, then it is too good to be true. It is a scam. People want your money and they will use all possible means to get it. People have died of depression, heart attacks, pressure and so many other ways because they have been fleeced.

Ponzi schemes are still thriving even when they are considered illegal. This is what I meant by people utilizing the loopholes in our systems. Some people are still joining them. Matter of fact, after these scammers realised that people in urban areas are onto them, they are raiding villages but at the same time thriving slowly in towns. I have heard of some which are being promoted by churches and I think we need to understand what this is.

The name “Ponzi “comes from one of the greatest scammers who championed the pyramid scheme called Charles Ponzi (Google if you want to know more about him). The sad part is even smart and decent people can be very gullible in the right conditions. People get drawn into these schemes that promise life changing experiences all the time and often it’s not really about evidence or logic but faith, belief and hope and rational arguments rarely work especially if it is more comforting to keep believing.

I am not going to mention any names of Ponzi schemes or fake cryptocurrency/block chain. I will simply help you identify them and avoid them for your own peace of mind and financial security. One thing about these scammers is that they move from one scheme if it expires or fails or banned and they move to another and then another and they simply change names and register new companies. They simply rotate around the same scheme but with a different name or logo or whatever they choose. Interestingly some schemes are Ugandan while others are international.

Well, don’t invest your money in these fraudulent scams. They usually promise high rates of returns with minimal investments. Most of them have packages ranging from silver to gold to diamond, to platinum and so many more. In short, even with 250.000/= Approx. $72 you can be assured that you will be a millionaire in a few weeks. The fun part is it’s not refundable.

Interestingly many of you never ask where this money goes and how it will multiply but faith is what makes it all worthwhile. The only hard work you have to put in is recruiting another person and another and another and you will benefit off each of them. (Tough isn’t it? considering the amount of money you have invested.) That’s what they call a pyramid scheme.

Fact is you will not become a millionaire anytime soon if you have invested 250,000/=. In fact you will go on to receive pennies off your investment and it won’t reach even half of that amount. Why? It has been taken by the other investors and the bosses have to profit of course and that’s the end of your story. They don’t really care about you. You have been used and dumped.

The other people who can benefit from your hard earned money are the marketers and recruiters who are near the top and I mean the bosses of this scam. They are the people who show off that they are benefiting which is true. They show off cars, expensive homes and so much more to make you believe that you too can.

Here is a fact; it is a pyramid scheme if the products being sold are valueless these can range from dietary supplements, education packages, farm inputs to so many other things, If the scheme focuses on getting new customers with no new investments, if the business operations are not transparent and can’t be explained, If they promise you so much and deliver less. Have you ever wondered why some people are billionaires in these pyramid schemes but in the real world they are struggling? How many rich people in the world have come out of these Ponzi schemes?

Before joining any scheme make sure you do enough research about it and the individuals involved. Ask the recruiter all the necessary questions and they should be willing and open to telling you everything involved in the scheme. If they don’t, run! Be wise and watch out.

Next up, we shall explore the world of crypto currency, block chain and I will do the same, warn you ahead of time before you jump into a hole you can’t come out of. I hope you have enjoyed reading my article. See you next time.

Leah Grace Oketcho, is a highly talented Communication specialist, gifted in leadership with over 3 years of leadership and management experience at different levels. She is a team player and has demonstrated ability in mobilizing and organizing others to achieve desired goals. Oketcho is well vast in the art of creating alternatives for ways to get results. She has over the years grown in the art of corporate communications and also participated in the development of performance management materials for various professional institutions. Leah received training in research, scripting, international relations, and data analysis as well as public relations. She is passionate about solving public health related problems. She has offered training to youth in oral and written communication, people management and mentoring, editing and documentation skills, public speaking.

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