What is it about money that brings out the worst in people?
There are countless get rich quick schemes on the internet, they have been around since before the internet, and will always be around. Since the invention of bitcoin, we have seen a massive surge in these schemes and scams that have really got nothing to do with bitcoin except the method of payment to join or pay out members.
The pseudonymous nature of bitcoin makes it a great tool for those running these schemes and scams. It adds more complexity into the process of tracking down the horrible people who start these systems.
Since bitcoin is the new IN thing these days and all over the news, a lot more people have heard of it than ever before. People hear stories of how others have become rich through bitcoin, and they also want to be rich. The amount of emails we get from people asking about bitcoin because they “want to also be a millionaire”, or asking ” how long before I am a millionaire”, is staggering.
The combination of being crypto-illiterate, gullible, and desperate for money, is the perfect mark for the scum of the crypto world, who have no problem taking advantage of these people and getting rich off their money.
Do not trust people on the internet
When it comes to money, DO NOT TRUST random strangers on the internet who tell you amazing stories of how much money you can make, if you invest with them. Think about it…if these people were so good at making money, why do they need your money? Why do they need you to invest so badly?
Just because someone has a website, or a facebook page, does not make them trustworthy. Any teenager can create a website or facebook page these days, so you should be suspicious of every website that is asking for your money.
Your bitcoin IS the investment…do not add more even more risk onto your investment by giving your valuable bitcoin to other people, who you have no way of getting it back from.
Ponzi schemes / Pyramid schemes / HYIP / MLM / and scam websites
If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. This has never been more true when it comes to schemes that get users to invest their bitcoin in order to make money. These websites promise amazing returns and the sound of money seems to enable people to make bad financial decisions. These websites prey on crypto-illiterate people, and are promoted by sick individuals with zero integrity.
Recently another large ponzi website that uses bitcoin known as bitconnect has fallen, and millions of dollars worth of bitcoin is just gone. Many people lost their life savings. Does knowing that people lost money affect the people who run these schemes? Hell no! They simply move on to the next scam.
It is not only the people who run these scams that are the problem, it is the members who make money by recruiting other users to the scam. These people are just as sick in the head as they know exactly what they are doing. They know the system is not sustainable, they know right from wrong, and they know some people WILL lose money, yet they promote the system to everyone.
People involved in these schemes have zero integrity
Integrity is the qualifications of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. It is generally a personal choice to hold oneself to consistent moral and ethical standards. Knowing how pyramid and ponzi schemes work, and how many peoples lives and families are destroyed by them, and STILL deciding to participate in them means you have ZERO integrity.
The people who are members and have made money often do not care that they are in such a scheme, they just care that they are making money (temporarily) and want to cash in on other members as much as they can before everything collapses.
People who are making money on these schemes will try to recruit as many people as possible, as they know that they can keep the scam running longer if more people join. It is in their interest to get more people to part with their hard earned money. Their paycheck depends on conning more members into joining the scheme under them with their affiliate link.
A person lacks integrity if unable to appreciate the distinction between what is honest or dishonest by ordinary standards. Someone who is lacking consideration for other people; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.
What I can say is What goes around, comes around. There are winners and many losers in a pyramid / ponzi scheme, and most people lose a lot of money. These are usually the people who can least afford to lose money. Think about it….If you are making money in the scheme, then someone else is losing money, and YOU are directly participating in that. Do the maths….its easy to work out.
What kind of person does this? Are you the kind of person who will happily be involved in what could be the pain and suffering of others, because there is a chance you can make some money? Think about that….can you look at yourself in the mirror knowing this? Can you face your friends and family knowing that others could be put into dire circumstances because of your actions?
In society we are supposed to try and be mindful of every action we have to make, to think before doing something good or bad against others. These days when you work over the internet, it is too easy to disconnect from the situation because you are not in the room with the people you are dealing with.
The sick people who promote these schemes
Now not everyone is clever enough to know they are participating in these schemes, these of course those that are just not educated enough to know the difference…many are are poor and desperate, and some just dont have the intellect to understand what is going on. But the real monster, is the person who knows exactly what is going on, and they STILL participate, and even recruit other people.
The kind of person who does this is those with a narcissistic personality disorder. These are people who have no problem taking advantage of others to get what they want. They have an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others, and have a sense of entitlement.
All these schemes work great, until they suddenly don’t, and real people lose real money.
Everyone knows how pyramid and ponzi schemes work, they know how they destroy lives, they all know how things end…..yet are preoccupied with money, and take advantage to get what they want. Even thought they know that there are people who will suffer terribly because of it when the scheme collapses.
Many people involved in pyramid schemes consider themselves to be good guys, nice people, upstanding citizens, god fearing, or even kind, but the reality is that nothing could be further from the truth….they are generally obsessed with money, have zero integrity, are narcissistic.
If you are participating in a pyramid or ponzi scheme, don’t play the ignorant card, you know what you are doing, you know right from wrong and make the conscious decision to participate and possibly even get others to join so that you can benefit. SHAME on you. You will get what is coming to you eventually. Ask yourself, what kind of person are you? Do you have integrity?
Its not a scam because I am getting paid!
All these schemes and scams would never work, if they FIRST did not make some people money. Your money comes from the new members joining, so as long as new members are joining, you can make money…..Just because you have made some money, or even made more than you put in, does not make the scam ‘legit’. In order to scam lots of people, the people running these scams need to make the first investors happy. They rely on the first investors who DO make money to promote the scam to all their friends and family.
Sometimes the only way people will believe something is a scam, is when the system collapses. For some reason people think that maths do not apply, and integrity or morals do not matter…. as long as they are getting paid, its ‘not a scam’.
BEWARE of the people who are seasoned scam participants, and have a history of scams that they have been involved in. Many times they have made a lot of money by joining early into the scams, so they know how they work and liken it to gambling.
These people are the worst! They know something is a scam, and they promote it to as many people as possible, so that they can earn back their initial investment to make sure they are ‘safe’. Thereafter, they do not care if the scam collapses, as they are making a ‘passive income‘. These people don’t care about the people they sign up and what circumstances they are in, or what will happen when the scheme collapses.
Be alert and help others to stay away from these schemes
Remember….If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t fall prey to pyramid and ponzi schemes, and don’t participate in them. If someone you know is participating in one, confront them on it.
The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do bad things, but because of those who look on and do nothing. –Albert Einstein
When people talk about cryptocurrency they all say the same thing, “Don’t invest more than you can afford to lose”, as well as “Do your own research” . While both statements are true, conveniently adding them when promoting a pyramid / ponzi scheme to someone who is obviously crypto-illiterate as a way to absolve yourself of any wrong doing, is retarded.
People who don’t know much about cryptocurrency will take you and what you are preaching at face value. These people cannot do research because they have no idea what to look for. These people are often also the last people who can afford to lose any money at all, and are generally desperately looking for something to get themselves out of debt. This combination of cryptocurrency ignorance and desperation makes them the perfect mark for scammers who participate and promote in these schemes.
Many outsiders who do not understand bitcoin assume these scams and schemes that use bitcoin IS bitcoin. This is damaging to bitcoin and the cryptocurrency ecosystem in South Africa. By participating and promoting these schemes, you are damaging the credibility of the ecosystem.
It is up to everyone who cares about bitcoin an cryptocurrencies to call out these schemes and scams. Do not promote them, and if someone asks you about them, help them to tell the difference between bitcoin and these scams.