Council warns against pyramid schemes

Consumer Council of Fiji CEO Seema Shandil. Picture: FT FILE

The Consumer Council of Fiji has received reports of Fijians in the Western Division losing money “invested” in pyramid schemes known as community gifting circles.

Council chief executive officer Seema Shandil said this was revealed after the administrator of a group approached the council because the recruits of the gifting circle started demanding a refund for the cash gift they gave her.

“The circle’s administrator informed the council that she does not know which members of the circle had the recruits’ cash and attempts by her to determine this has proved futile,” said Ms Shandil.

“It is now impossible to obtain a redress for these Fijians due to the illegal nature of such schemes and the complications involved in tracking the trail of cash flow.

“By the time a pyramid scheme invariably shuts down, the top-level operatives walk away with loads of cash while the majority of lower level members leave empty-handed.

“This is why the council has been aggressive in advocating and creating awareness on not to join such schemes.”

The council has reiterated its previous warnings that pyramid schemes were illegal and Fijians should refrain from engaging in such schemes.

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