Limlingan: Pyramiding (again)

LAST week, a couple has been arrested for allegedly duping more than 50 people who poured in their money into an investment scheme using the cryptocurrency Bitcoin as a mere front. The suspects, whose company’s real name is New G, solicited money from various people along with the promise of huge earnings.

Like any other cases of pyramiding scams, the investors raked-in profits at first until the couple could no longer deliver their promises and went into hiding. After amassing around P900 million from hapless victims, the two can no longer be found.

One of their victims sought the help of the police and after painstaking efforts to locate the couple were exhausted, they were arrested in Ilocos Sur.

Apparently, this is another case of pyramiding scheme wherein people are enticed to invest their money on a profiteering venture and in a short span of time, their investments would earn considerable profits but would end up to a crime of syndicated estafa.

Government authorities including law enforcement agencies kept on warning the public in this kind of money-making illegal activity which has lured countless people who have lost their finances to some criminals.

Pyramiding go by different names, but all pyramiding scams or Ponzi schemes play out the same way. At first, investors won’t suspect anything as they get paid regularly for a few cycles. The network of unwitting people gets bigger and the money pot gets a lot sweeter.

Eventually with no more investors coming in later on, payments of profit will stop and the whole pyramid structure falls. The mastermind or the operator then runs off with the remaining funds and those who invested money loses as much as millions of pesos that may or may not be recovered even in case the suspect is arrested.

One victim was heard saying that pyramiding schemes are really enticing because of the profit they promise. Many in fact had their return of investments (ROI) at first and would not stop investing until they realized that it was indeed a case of large-scale estafa.

For many years now, victims have fallen prey to some pyramiding activities from bogus companies such as Aman Futures, Emgoldex, Legacy Group, among many others. These companies who present themselves as legitimates, are merely “fronts” of some people’s illegal investment activities.

Even by just the experience of others, we need to keep vigilant on these scams which promises earnings that are too good to be true. Despite the enticements for profits they give, we need to be aware that they might end up instead as losers with their profits beyond recovery.

We have to note that these companies have no legal or official documents that makes them illegitimate and no legal personality to engage business just like their supposed profiteering activities.

Some people simply never learn that despite the number of cases of pyramiding scams in the country, they still put in their money with their intention of earning but would result in the end to be losing.

Caveat emptor.


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