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“The easiest and safest way to double your money is to fold it and put it in your pocket”

– Unknown

As a guy in paid employment, I’m always on the look out for any profitable micro-investment scheme. This has over and over again introduced me to the world of network marketing and honestly, I suck at it. I have joined about two of those and my ability to follow-up has not been so good.

Anyway, so a friend of mine tried to sell me another — or so I thought and very nearly convinced me into it. It was one where a bunch of people assisted each other by paying a specified amount into the account of a stranger who was a part of the scheme at a certain date and a month after or so, receive the amount plus 30% interest. The gig had rules by which it was guided to ensure it remained profitable to its investors.

Naturally, I became interested and as I do before I get involved in anything of this sort that involves my hard-earned money, I researched into it. I searched Google and found the MMM Nigeria website. Of course, I was impressed by the website and read its write-up which generally describes itself as a “ community of ordinary people, selflessly helping each other, a kind of the Global Fund of mutual aid” and about how it intends to break the monopoly banks had on the lives of individuals . It was pretty interesting and had an array of testimonials that would probably convince a lot of doubting-Thomases out there but as a typical Nigerian, I still had my doubts.

If it was so successful, I wondered how I had never heard of it until now. So I researched further and got to discover the name of the man whose picture was on the site, its creator — Sergey Mavrodi and the fact that MMM just got introduced to Nigeria quite recently.sergey mavrodi

This was the turning point of my research. Sergey Mavrodi, the creator of MMM, a money-making pyramid scheme according to my search revealed that he was a Russian mathematician, a former deputy of the State of Duma and, most shocking — a criminal!

It pretty much went downhill from there. MMM is a clone of a similar Ponzi Scheme for which Sergey Mavrodi was convicted for fraud in Russia. This scheme was replicated in China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Bangladesh, Philipines, South Africa and now Nigeria. Shockingly, I read that MMM South Africa collapsed as recently as April 2016 as it is bound to after some time.

A Ponzi scheme (also a Ponzi game or a Ponzi) is a fraudulent investment operation where the operator, an individual or organization, pays returns to its investors from new capital paid to the operators by new investors, rather than from profit earned through legitimate sources. This is the basic foundation of MMM so you just have to ask yourself if you are a right-thinking individual — who bears the cost of the 30% profit on every investment when there is no actual legitimate source of earning for the scheme, plus the incontrovertible fact that in dealing with humans, there is bound to be error — the possibility of a failure to keep up with commitments; what happens then?

A Ponzi Scheme is dangerous because it brings with it widespread hysteria that is infectious and grows into a leviathan right before it goes bust, leaving millions in financial ruin.

Naturally, I called my friend aside and tried to warn him of the dangers inherent but he was adamant so I let him be. However, my worry peaked when a member of my family tried to sell me the same scheme. Apparently, I had greatly underestimated the reach, hence I decided to write this missive.

I won’t be so arrogant to claim that I know all about MMM even though I have read plenty but in this era of technological advancement when information is at everyone’s fingertips, you can never go wrong by making Google your friend. It can save a whole lot of stress by giving back to you the right to decide if a risk is worth taking or not as against making decision based on fairy tale fantasies.

Just saying…

Mr. Malcolm

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