A lot of employed people, stay at home moms, students and youth are in search of the perfect side hustle. It has become common place to advise almost everyone to launch a business online. It’s the new gold.
Those who have gotten the formula right are reaping big from the global markets and opportunities present on the internet.
However, like any other big marketplace, there are a lot of cons and unscrupulous dealers spoiling the names of legitimate business people and duping unsuspecting customers out of their hard earned cash. Here are a few platforms you should be wary of.
The allure of Crowd1 is broadcast worldwide. This is a multi-level-marketing firm that the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) has warned that it has all the bearings of a pyramid scheme.
Already, Crowd1’s operations are being investigated in some countries and authorities like Namibia have banned the platform after it emerged that members make money by recruiting others, a definite characteristic of a pyramid scheme.
Forex trading has been a legitimate business for decades. Even online, dealing in foreign currencies is not illegal. However, the trade is normally regulated, both online and offline. Regulated schemes give you two options: Dealing and non-dealing. When dealing with corporate companies such as the Standard Investment Bank (SIB),you give money to a dealer and they trade on your behalf with your returns submitted at the end of a specified period. Non-dealing allows you to open your own account and trade using the inter-bank rates.
Unregulated Forex sites unfortunately, count on your gullibility and offer both options. Only that in this case, when you opt for dealing, you give your money to a “dealer” and the trade ends there.
This is also another legitimate investment that can cost you millions if you find yourself in the wrong hands. Bitcoins are unregulated and as such, fraudsters have created fake websites selling promises and fake bitcoins worth millions of money.
Those who already have legit cryptocurrency also risk getting hacked and having their bitcoin transferred to untraceable destinations.
Some websites instruct users to deposit their funds into a compromised wallet that results in the loss of money. Some hardware wallets come with pre-configured seed phrase hidden under a scratch card.
Remember public likes? Such websites promise earn you money if you just click on adverts. The returns are very high and garnered within such a short period of time.
To register, users had to part with Sh1,500 and then they would be paid-to-click (PTC) the adverts and earn from referring other users who had to register as well. Like any other pyramid scheme,it did not last long. And it went down with a lot of people’s money.
Nowadays we go to the internet for everything. Illnesses, cooking and even when house-hunting. It is common to find adverts of very beautiful houses in the best locations at the best prices. Once you call the number, the person could insist on a deposit or viewing fees. In most cases, the house does not exist, and if it does, it looks nothing like what you saw online.
Online shopping scams
This is the biggest business opportunity for many and also the biggest opportunity for scammers. It’s common to find online shops selling electronics, shoes, handbags and other products insisting on a deposit or payment before dispatch. While some are legit, a lot of them disappear with your money. Some chat with you to gain your trust and once you are locked in, you make the payment and get blocked almost immediately.
Traders suffer from con artistes posing as customers too. Some get their deliveries made and meet you at the gate, they take the product and pretend to be getting the money from the house. Only after waiting for so long and realizing that you have no idea which house belongs to them, do you realize you have been conned.
Fraudsters do not spare the unemployed or job hunters either. If you are job hunting, you will definitely keep looking on the latest advertised positions. Some posts are a scam. A common characteristic of job scams involve purported vacancies from big corporate companies doing massive recruitment with minimal requirements. Once you apply, you will be called by a fake personnel who will then proceed to give you instructions which normally end up with you having to pay some sort of fees. Nowadays, they also lure people and rob them of their phones and laptops.
Ensure that you are communicating with a company phone line with valid email addresses before you get duped by the scammers.
At the beginning of the year, Kenyans were shocked to find out that a top profile lawyer had been lured into an ‘online relationship’ with one Dorcas Sarkozy. The supposed soft spoken, beautiful lady had the guys so smitten that he had already proposed and was looking forward to happily ever after.
It later emerged that the lawyer had all along been chatting with a fellow man who managed to beguile him and swindle him of about half a million.
So next time you find someone in your DM professing their undying love and asking for money,make a point of meeting them first before you open your wallet.