THE challenging economic times that many in the country find themselves under has seen many people fall prey to fly-by-night businesspeople masquerading as investment experts.
We have seen over the years people losing their money to pyramid schemes, and these continue to evolve and mutate into many forms with the major attraction being the quick returns on investment.
It would be unfair to dismiss the victims as being gullible and greedy. This is because news about the returns on such schemes spreads like a wild fire and usually through people that would be known to the victim, making it quite convincing and attractive.
What many people have never bothered to find out is the legal status of such schemes since what draws them to the schemes are the returns.
In our previous edition we carried an article in which scores of civil servants lost money to one such scheme whose founder was reportedly on the run after collecting thousands of dollars from his a�?a�?investorsa��a��.
It would appear, payouts would be given and the interest payments on investment paid for a start in order to attract more people and then, as is usually the case with such schemes, the company would shut down and the victims would only discover they were duped upon going to inquire about their interest payments.
One of the complainants that lost their money said that they started off investing small amounts but were pleased with the returns that they put $6 000 that they had saved over a period of time to buy a stand.
We would like to urge members of the public to watch out for crooks that run schemes whose promises are too good to be true.A� If the promised returns appear abnormal, they probably are.
Zimbabweans are a hardworking lot, and hard work really does not rely on shortcuts to get wealth. We need to report people that run suspicious businesses or at least check with authorities if such businesses are legal or registered.A� If they are operating illegally, chances are that they may not honour any of the promises they make.
Many pyramid schemes have collapsed leaving many people in tears and of late many more schemes have sprouted offering unbelievable returns from foreign currency trading or even crypto-currency investments.
We urge potential investors to carefully study any such schemes before putting their hard-earned money into a bogus scheme that will only deliver misery to them and their families.
We believe dealing with established registered institutions is the best form of insurance that one can have since there is room for legal recourse that could lead to the re-imbursement of investments should anything go wrong as such institutions would be required to have some form of insurance to protect depositorsa�� interests.