Rise in pyramid schemes targetting Māori and Pasifika sparks warning

Fakatokanga 'oku ‘alu ke lahi ange hono tāketi’i e komiunitī kau Mauli mo e Pasifiki’ ‘i Nu’u Sila’ ni ‘e he kau fakatupu pa’anga ta’efakalao ‘oku fai’aki e founga ko hono uki ha kau mēmipa ke kau ki ai’. Ko e na’ina’i mei he taha e ngaahi kautaha pa’anga ‘i Nu’u Sila’ ‘oku peheni - Kapau ‘e ‘i ai ha fa’ahinga fakatupu pa’anga ‘e ma’u ha pa’anga ai mei ha’o kumi mai ha kau memipa ke mou kau fakataha he līlii’, ‘oku ui ‘i he lao’ ko e sikimi pilamita (pyramid scheme) pea ‘oku ta’efakalao ia. Na’e pehē mei he kautaha’ ‘e lava pe ke ma’u ha tupu ‘a ha kakai heni ‘i he kamakamata ‘a e fakatupu pa’anga’ ni, ka ko ‘ene ‘alu atu pe, ‘a ia ko e natula pe ‘eni ia ‘o e fa’ahinga sikimi ko ‘eni’, ‘e mate ia, pea ‘e ‘ikai ha toe pa’anga ia ma ‘a ha taha. Na’e ‘osi fai ‘a e fakatokanga tatau ‘i Tonga ‘e he Pangike Pule Fakafonua’ he ngaahi māhina kuo toki sītu’a’.

This story was originally appeared on RNZ.co.nz and is republished with permission

Christmas-themed pyramid schemes are on the rise and a small-loans trust is warning people to avoid them.

New Zealand currency held fanned out in someones hand
Photo: 123rf.com

Natalie Vincent, of Ngā Tāngata Microfinance, said many pyramid schemes use cryptocurrencies, and are promoted primarily to Māori and Pasifika families.

Vincent said a new pyramid scheme is being sold to vulnerable people in the form of ‘gifting’ or ‘koha’ with the promise of making quick money.

It suggests people can get up to $20,000 after making three payments of $150.

Vincent said some people might make money at the very early stages, but further on, as is the nature of such schemes, it will collapse, leaving no money for anyone.

“The really scary thing is that a number of people that have come forward to us have actually borrowed money to put into these schemes.”

She said any investment scheme that derives its income from recruiting new members, is considered by law to be a pyramid scheme, and is illegal.

Vincent said using cryptocurrency instead of cash allows would-be scammers to operate in the shadows, independent of banks.

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