A couple of weeks ago we published an article that outlined the identifying features of pyramid and ponzi schemes. Their spread has unfortunately continued and it is very concerning.
Many of you may have seen a number of get-rich-quick schemes being forwarded on WhatsApp or being advertised on social media. Some of them are even hosting whole presentations to attract prospects. They include names like Elamant, Pay 200 to Delroy, “Crowd Funding”, and Crowd1.
These organizations and individuals that are saying that they can make you money while you sleep simply by joining (be it free or paying a fee) aren’t being honest. Any individual or organization that is enlisting you to enlist others should rouse your suspicion. There is no way that the thousands of members joining on referrals are going to make the money they have advertised. It is most certainly going to benefit the very few at the top. Even if the operation is small, there are still concerns because those behind it could easily make off with your hard-earned money.
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They may also dress up their sell in a number of different ways. Take Elamant for example, they say that the big tech companies are selling off your data without you benefitting. They want their members to collect reciepts in order to sell of to prospective “investors” so they can have a lay of the land?
This is very confusing, as investors have many pathways and considerations they make before they enter a market or country, and I doubt that they would need old receipts to do so…
These receipts are most likely discarded, and they just keep harvesting the money from people who keep getting hooked into this. If they can waive your joining fee because you were able to get 3 other people to join, then that should say everything about what they are trying to do.
If that isn’t enough the CEO of Elamant, Ryan Evans was also the Director of Operations and Vice President of a now defunct Ponzi Scheme called Saivian. He was added to an SEC (The United States’s Securities and Exchange Commission) lawsuit when Saivian was sued in 2019.
“On October 3, 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed an amended complaint adding Ryan M. Evans, a California resident, as a defendant to its litigated action involving a multimillion dollar Ponzi and pyramid scheme called Saivian. The SEC’s amended complaint alleges that Evans played a significant role in promoting the scheme while serving as Saivian’s Director of Operations and Vice President of Marketing.”Securities and Exchange Commision
Saivian’s business practices are similar to Elamant’s. Elamant is just a redesign of an old idea, and that’s how these companies usually operate. When the game is found out they repackage it for another market.
What is being done?
Besides word of mouth, some countries have moved to ban these kinds of schemes. The most recent being Namibian. The Bank of Namibia on the 22nd of July posted a statement after they held investigations on the business practices of Elamant. They concluded that Elamant contravened section 55A of the Banking Institution’s Act of 1998 of Namibia.
“The outcome of the investigation revealed that the business activities of Elamant contravenes section 55(A), due to the following reasons:
a. The company promotes a referral system which encourages existing members to continuously recruit new members in order to earn a promised monthly income.
b. The main source of income for Elamant is derived from the payment of joining fees by new members and the monthly subscription fees paid by existing members, with the promise of earning money upon the recruitment of new members.
c. As soon as the recruitment of new members stops, the members at the bottom of the structure will not be rewarded. The business model is thus not sustainable and will likely result in the public losing money.
Therefore, because of the above stated reasons, the Bank of Namibia hereby advises the public not to join/become members of Elamant business activities. Similarly, promoters of Elamant are hereby directed to stop their operations and promotion of this pyramid scheme immediately. Failure to do so, the Bank will take further appropriate action as stipulated in the Act.”The Bank of Namibia
This isn’t the first time the Bank of Namibia has made such a move. In May, they conducted similar investigations on “R200 WhatsApp STOKVEL” (probably repackaged as Pay 200 to Delroy in Zimbabwe) and in February Crowd1, and they came to the same conclusions in both cases.
There are no easy ways to make money, especially in the times we are living in. Everyone is feeling the pinch especially with public health measures that are disrupting business. These enterprises are only thriving because people are facing financial difficulties, and need alternatives in order to make ends meet.
Please don’t let them make off with your hard-earned money.