“Good afternoon my name is Francis and you’ve been merged/paired to pay me on HELPARENA” … One out of ten Nigerian must have used this statement at one point of their lives.
Ponzi schemes originated from a man known as Charles ponzin, an Italian swindler and a con artist who started a money making scheme in North America. He promised clients a 50% profit within 45 days or 100% profit within 90 days investment. The scheme was actually paying early investors but the scheme collapsed after a year.
Funny enough you can relate the above to a modern day scheme. It’s absurd to think one would “blindly” invest 50,000 naira and make a profit of 100,000 naira, all in a matter of hours without expecting any consequence or risk.
Just like the originator most ponzi site owners are potential swindlers and con artist who have little or no idea about running such sites all in the name of helping Nigerians. An average and typical Nigerian would venture into any business (ponzi scheme) as long as it pays. Truth is few or minute number of people would make profit at the expense of large amount of other people.
let’s do the maths. Imagine Mr A pays 10,000 to get 50,000, it will take 5 people to get him such amount and so it’s only sensible enough to know that it takes 25 more people to also pay up the 5 people who paid Mr A. sounds confusing right? Well, what a complicated way of making a “simple and sincere money”.
A vast majority of Nigerians still thinks ponzi schemes are genuine and reliable means to an end, forgetting the fact that even Charles Ponzi, the generator who was later imprisoned for his debts couldn’t make it work for a year.
Would you want to risk your money on a system knowing its success rate is bleak and would definitely crash? This might not even convince u as long as it pays right?
Words by Eniola Michael
The founder of the biggest ponzi scheme Sergi Mavrodi just passed at the age of 62