Ponzi schemes flood Nigeria as recession continues to bite hard
Nigerians turn ‘deaf ears’ to government’s warnings
Many believe schemes are ‘gifts from God’
Despite the several warnings issued by the Federal government, EFCC and the CBN on the dangers of patronizing ponzi schemes like icharity, MMM, Ultimate cycler etc. Nigerians are still signing up in their hundreds on these fraudulent platforms with many saying they are ‘gifts’ sent by God to help them cope with the recession.
The biggest of these schemes is the now viral ‘MMM’ which means ‘Mavrodi Mondial Moneybox’, created by a Russian mathematician, Sergei Mavrodi. MMM, which is already banned in several countries of the world(banned in all top-tier countries) promises a return on investment of 30% after a period of 1 month.
The ‘wonder bank’ has seen millions of Nigerians pouring their money into it, with some selling their properties to raise money for ‘investment’. In recent times, Organizers/recruiters for the scheme called ‘guiders’ embarked on social corporate responsibility(charity) by giving relief items to IDPs in Northern Nigeria but some believe it was an attempt to whitewash the scheme’s shady image and bad history.
Another scheme that is gaining much popularity now in the country is Ultimate cycler. This money-doubling setup is a little different from MMM, it promises larger returns.
Here is the catch : User ‘A’ signs up by and depositing a sum of N12,500 to a fellow member, he/she signed under. When the deposit or ‘donation’ is approved, the Ultimate Cycler systems registers four other users under user ‘A’ ,who will pay N12,500 to User ‘A’ resulting in N50,000. Basically User ‘A’ pays N12,500 and gets N50,000 in return.
Now that User ‘A’ has 4 users under him/her,the Ultimate Cycler system upgrades user ‘A’ to grade 2 level. On this level, User ‘A’ will pay N25,000 from his/her N50,000 gain to another grade 2 member. After this, the system will put 16 people under user ‘A’ who will then pay user ‘A’ N25,000 each. At this stage, User ‘A’ gains N400,000.
iCharity on the other hand is much similar to MMM, only difference is a user chooses who he/she want to pay money to or ‘help’ (peer to peer). Unlike MMM, where a system matches users with who they are to pay to, icharity allows its users to choose.