In what is now arguably one of the biggest scams in Fiji's history, it is confirmed that the notorious EbayShop Online Recruitment pyramid scheme has left countless Fijians in financial turmoil.
fijivillage News has been raising questions about the scheme with the Consumer Council of Fiji and the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Complaints from concerned people is now pouring in at the Consumer Council, coinciding with a surge in individuals expressing their grievances through various social media platforms.
The council says hundreds of thousands of dollars have seemingly vanished into thin air overnight following the inevitable collapse of the EbayShop Online Recruitment scheme.
Consumer Council CEO, Seema Shandil says as forewarned by the council for months end, and as the dust settles on this devastating fraud, the council is urging consumers to report their losses.
Shandil says despite the council’s relentless efforts to raise awareness about such scams, it is anticipated that thousands of Fijians have fallen prey to this cunning operation, leaving them desperate to recover their hard-earned money.
She says the human toll of this scam is inconceivable, as ordinary Fijians have been manipulated and coerced into signing up for this fraudulent scheme.
One such victim, a humble bean seller from Nadi, reached out to the council in despair. She was duped into abandoning her small bean-selling business and is now left without an immediate source of income, traumatized by her ordeal.
The council investigations are revealing that many consumers also took loan from family and friends, banks and other financial institutions to invest in this now collapsed scheme.
Shandil says they sternly emphasize that there are no real winners in this fraudulent game.
She says those who may have profited did so at the expense of their fellow Fijians, who are now left with nothing but heartache and financial devastation.
Whilst calling for actions against the perpetrators and enablers of this scheme, Shandil says tthe local orchestrators of this scheme, including the alleged administrators, must face thorough investigation, and those who actively promoted and lured innocent people into this web of deceit should be held accountable for their actions through legal/enforcement action.
Shandil says in a glaring lapse, the enforcement bodies tasked with safeguarding the interests of consumers have acted far too late in addressing the EbayShop Online Recruitment Scheme.
She also says they tirelessly sounded the alarm on this issue for months, urging proactive measures to protect consumers from the clutches of this deceptive scheme.
Shandil says the delayed response from enforcement bodies inadvertently provided leeway for the scheme to operate and, in the eyes of some, seemingly legitimized its existence.
She says it is imperative that we learn from this unfortunate incident and work collectively to ensure that similar scams are nipped in the bud, rather than allowed to flourish to the detriment of consumers.
We have sent questions to FCCC and Police, and are awaiting their response.
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