Consumer Council cautions on potential pyramid scheme

Consumer Council cautions on potential pyramid scheme

By Rashika Kumar
Saturday 10/06/2023
Consumer Council of Fiji CEO Seema Shandil

Consumers are reminded to be vigilant and tread carefully when engaging with traders or individuals on social media platforms advertising alluring ways to earn money while barely disclosing any information about the scheme.

This reminder comes as the Consumer Council of Fiji is investigating reports that consumers are being lured by a possible scheme which is mimicking the hallmarks of a pyramid-recruitment scheme.

They say masquerading as a quick, high-return opportunity in the form of recruitment for renowned international trading website, the alleged scam entices people to join as an intern in a 5-tier scheme and earn an increased amount of commission at each level.

They say the operator, who has a physical store in Market Road, Nadi, advertises that people can join his company, initially as an intern and process 5 orders per day but no other material information is made available to the recruits.

The Council says for processing these orders, consumers are paid a commission in addition to the annual commission.

They say apart from internship, consumers are offered to move to the next tier which requires an upfront payment and the process continues to level 5; with increased payment required for each level.

CEO Seema Shandil says while the investigations are still in the preliminary stages, the Council is proactively issuing an alert to the general public so that they may ask the right questions and not fall victim to any potential scams.

She says their consumer tip-off led investigation is revealing that the trader in question is a registered business in Fiji however, when questioned, fails to reveal the specifics of its business operations such as why are the recruits required to pay a lump-sum payment, what is the recruits exact role and the modus operandi of the business.

Shandil says these can be potential red flags of a scam especially as recruits are required to pay a deposit.

The Council says they are also reassuring consumers that the name of the business orchestrating this alleged scheme will be released soon.

They say they are committed to equipping individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate complex scams which are rearing everyday.

The Council adds such scams prey on people's desire for quick wealth, and by raising awareness, they aim to protect consumers from falling victim to these deceptive practices.

fijivillage Straight Talk with Vijay Narayan
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