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Do more to shield Kenyans from pyramid schemes

By Editorial | November 3rd 2020

A big number of investors in Africa and Asia are reported to have been defrauded by a suspected pyramid scheme. According to BBC, the investors, mostly poor people from countries including Kenya, put their money in Crowd1, purportedly an online investment firm, after being promised good returns and a glamorous life.

However, as always happens with pyramid schemes, their dreams eventually went up in smoke.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time that hapless investors are losing money neither will it be the last. Every year, hundreds of Kenyans lose money to shady firms which promise them heaven only to leave them in hell. For instance, Kenyans have on several occasions been left counting losses after being promised millions of shillings for investing in the so-called ‘digital farming’.

Others have lost money to firms that promised them huge interest on deposits.

The internet has aggravated matters by making the con game global as is the case with Crowd1.

Sadly, despite the prevalence of pyramid schemes and other scams and evidence of many people losing their hard-earned cash, many Kenyans still fall for the lies. They ignore the simple but handy advice for investors; when the deal is too good you must think twice.

But while investors are partly to blame for their own tribulations, government(s) should be blamed for not protecting their citizens. Governments have the mandate and machinery to ensure that such schemes do not take place. Unfortunately, in the case of Kenya, authorities usually step in too late when many people have been ripped off and the fraudsters closed shop. The government must do more to protect Kenyans from greedy scoundrels roaming our streets and the internet.

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