The general public are advised to be careful and not fall for these schemes. Be vigilant and look out for the following common features of these schemes:
• The approach by the operators may have been made by mail, telephone, Internet or in person, but the intention is always the same, that is, to take money from unsuspecting victim for goods or services that they have no intention to provide.
• Schemes which promise interest rates, returns or profits, which are much higher than the returns offered by licensed financial institutions for their deposits.
• The promises of high returns are aimed at attracting the members of the public to participate in the schemes and the investors may not be given copies of any documentation including agreements by the operators.
• There is also no assurance that the operators of such schemes can continue to pay the high returns.
• At the beginning of such schemes, the operators are able to use money received from subsequent depositors to pay high returns or to repay the principal amount to the earlier depositors.
• However, the operators could not invest the deposits in equally or more lucrative ventures or investments and therefore unable to sustain the high returns or repayment promised to their depositors.
Please note that these schemes will fail eventually when there are no new deposits being continually received by the operators. At such time, the “get-rich-quick” schemes will collapse and the depositors or investors will lose their investments.
For more information on illegal and suspicious financial entities and activities, please visit the Reserve Bank of Fiji website www.rbf.gov.fj