$2.8m Vanishes in Thai Ponzi Scheme
More than 1000 investors in Thailand-based Forex scheme Wealthy-Plus have seen their savings evaporate because this was nothing, but a well-executed Ponzi Scheme. The victims were attracted to the scheme thanks to its advertisements on LINE and Facebook. Around 30 victims of the scheme complained to the police, saying that many more people had lost their life’s savings thanks to it. The angry investors filed complaints regarding this scheme with the police’s Bangkok-based Technology Crime Suppression Division, although it remains to be seen whether they will get all or some of their money back.
Wealthy-Plus was a very convincing forex scheme that offered a number of investment packages to eager customers, some of which promised to give returns of more than 60 percent. To allay any doubts about its activities, the operation was set up to look like an investment management company. The scheme also had a website, although that is no longer functioning.
The Ponzi operation took in investments at different levels starting with the Silver level, which was for a minimum of 1000 THB and a maximum of 5000 THB. This would be the equivalent of US$30 to US$ 150. These customers were promised a tidy 30 percent return on their investments. The operation also offered Gold, Platinum, and Diamond levels. The highest level took in 50,000 to 120,000 THB, equal to $1400 to $3400.
It is clear to see that the scheme targeted people from different sections of society during the 2 months that it was in action. Not only did it get rich people to put in their money, but it also got poor people to put in their entire savings, only to see them vanish. The total extent of the scheme seems to be 100 million THB or $2.8 million, although this figure might go up once more information is made available. Sadly, there are also many indications that the scheme had targeted people in a neighbouring country as well.
One of the main reasons for the success of Wealthy-Plus was its aggressive marketing using social media. The operation made very good use of LINE, an online chatting service that is very popular in that part of the world. It also had a page on Facebook. This was a classic multi-level marketing scheme and clients rushed to bring in additional clients in order to get higher returns. The company’s online presence has vanished on the 22nd of July, indicating that something illegal was afoot.
Ponzi operations and ‘get rich quick’ schemes are all too common because they take advantage of human frailties. In fact, investors have to be especially careful about companies that make offers that are too good to be true because they are invariably frauds. Another thing to be wary about is a scheme that rewards customers for bringing in additional business. Besides, these companies appear on the scene very quickly and disappear equally fast, making it very difficult for law enforcement authorities to keep track of them or do anything to bring the money back.
Our takeaway from this…
Although we need to wait and watch if the investors will ever get their money back, you need to be very careful while investing in forex schemes. Specially the ones that sound too good to be true.
For instance, the scheme promised to give returns to the tune of more than 60%. This is a huge percentage and almost too good to be true. If you ever have a doubt, always investigate further to make sure that the company is in fact legit and will deliver on their promises.
Another thing that the company did was make false promises of getting more returns if the clients were able to convince others to join the scheme.
So always be wary while investing your hard-earned money and savings!