Behind the News | Think before you defrauded

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Think before you are defrauded … There’s a famous saying that goes like this – the love of money is the root of all evil. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

There’s a famous saying that goes like this – the love of money is the root of all evil.

Do you remember?

That was coined by the Apostle Paul of the Bible in Chapter 6 of his letter to Timothy.

During his time, which is over 2000 years ago, Paul had put across the message that most wrongdoing, if not all, could be linked to humans’ excessive attachment to and greed for material wealth.

That truth somewhat reminded me of this week’s EbayShop investment fiasco.

It also brought back memories of how people fell hook, line and sinker for the petal or flower scheme of 2021.

Ebay, Flower, Petal, Core…whatever fancy name people choose to call them, they all have features of a Ponzi and pyramid scheme, they are all fraudulent means of earning money and they are all illegal.

Period!

Hence, no matter how much you will earn from it, no matter how much your life will change, no matter how many properties you may gain and the benefits it may bring to you and your family, know that you are engaging in a fraudulent activity and you are being defrauded yourself by a fraudster.

That means, whether it looks genuine, feels genuine and sounds genuine or whether Tom, Dick and Harry take part in it, whether it originates from America, Iceland or somewhere on the coast of Spain, whether aunty A or uncle B bought a new car from it and even if the scheme had been going on for many years, it is still fraud and you become part of the jigsaw puzzle.

I am shocked to note that despite the amount of awareness done by authorities in the past, many of our citizens continue to be duped by these fly-by-night and crooked schemes.

More such schemes will be devised in the future, some of them more complicated and more legitimate.

Many more members of the community will be misled and defrauded.

We will not stop being sucked into its vortex of deceit until we first understand it and accept the fact that it is an illegal activity and as law-abiding citizens and as a matter of morale ethics, we should stay away from it.

Ponzi and pyramid schemes have been around for decades.

They have been called over a thousand different names and have taken up a thousand different forms.

It was made famous by a guy named Charles Ponzi, who was born in Lugo, Italy, on March 3, 1882.

The term “Ponzi scheme” or “pyramid scheme” is basically an investment scam in which money from a constant stream of new investors is used to pay off earlier investors.

In this way, the more people join the richer the creator gets.

The scheme or scam continues until it, as is always the case, collapses when there are no more new investors.

Although Ponzi was not the first to use this method of scamming unsuspecting individuals and groups to make money, he was the most popular.

If you are someone who took part in the EbayShop scheme and got something good out of it, perhaps you withdrew a couple of thousands and laughed all the way to the bank and believed that you were getting returns from your investment so you did nothing wrong, you are deluded.

If the original intent of the creator of the scheme was to dupe you, then no matter you much you have gained, you are being used and duped for someone else’s benefit and someone will have to take the brunt of the whole illegal exercise and lose money in the end.

The Ponzi and pyramid scheme always crashes, even if it has been in operation for many years.

Each time you get your bonus or payment, ask the question – where are the extras coming from?

How can you put in $1000 and get $10,000 without shedding a sweat?

Where did $9000 comes from?

This is the sad part.

Your bonus may come from the hardworking Suva market vendor who put in all he had with the hope of getting returns.

It could come from the savings of a supermarket cashier who looks after six children and ageing parents on a minimum wage of $4 an hour.

It could come from a 65-year-old pensioner who had put aside money to fund a grandchild’s upcoming surgery and it could come from the $1000 a struggling single mum had saved for her only daughter’s wedding.

Every time you receive cash in your hands or in your bank account, don’t ever feel happy.

Feel guilty and know that there are many struggling citizens out there who had put in all they had so that you get to enjoy the perks of a fraudulent scheme where the creator or creators are invisible and having a good time with millions of dollars to spend.

Like a house of cars, in the end, the scheme collapses and the mastermind and his or her close associates get dealt with by the long arms of the law, leaving behind a trail of financial devastation from which some citizens may never recover from for good.

I believe in sweating.

But the problem is many people like easy money and the easy way out.

Sweating it out may mean shedding a tear or suffering a backache but the money you get at the end of the day is sweet, satisfying, legal and earned without a sense of guilt.

Do not greed and stay away from Ponzi schemes.

Before I end, I wish the FIJI Water Flying Fijians all the best in tomorrow morning’s Rugby World Cup Pool C clash against our Pacific neighbours from Australia.

Toso Viti toso!!

Until we meet on this same page same time next week, stay blessed, stay healthy and stay safe.

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