Tuesday, 11 October 2016

MMM- Scam Or Legitimate

Honestly, I’ve been reading and hearing about MMM since I was in school. I never gave it a look because I felt it was one of the usual networking business that is found everywhere today.
Recently, the cases of its crashing and causing trauma in some countries have actually made me develop interest in it and start looking to see what it really is all about.
This post is put up on request from a reader and also as a result of my curiosity to actually find out the real thing about MMM worldwide.

  

So, what really is MMM?
I do hear people term it - Money Making Machine! And I have always asked if MMM is a new scheme? If MMM is a business? If MMM is an investment? And so on.
In this post I was able to get the answers and also find the full meaning of MMM and what it stands for.
Here’s a brief introduction to it:
According to Wikipedia, MMM was founded in 1989 by Sergei Mavrodi, his brother Vyacheslav Mavrodi, and Olga Melnikova. Thus, the name used for the company (MMM) was actually derived from the initial letters of the three founders' surnames of this scheme. This clears the misconception of the term- Money Making Machine as many people think.
МММ started as a Russian company that perpetrated one of the world's largest Ponzi schemes of all time in the 1990s. By different estimates, about 5 to 40 million people lost close to $10 billion in Russia alone.  As a result of this, the MMM Ponzi scheme was shut down by Russian Police in 1994 and declared bankruptcy in 1997. On July 22nd, 1994, MMM offices in Russia were closed by the Russian police for tax evasion. The attempt to continue the scheme by the company after closure few days later was in futile and finally ceased operations. At that point of closure, the MMM company was owing between 100 billion and 3 trillion rubles to the investors (from $50 million to $1.5billion). This collapse led to 50 investors committing suicide having lost all of their money in the scheme.
{A Ponzi scheme is a form of fraud in which the belief in success of a nonexistent enterprise is fostered by the payment of quick returns to the first investors from money invested by later investors}
Mavrodi was arrested in 2003. While in custody, Mavrodi was given until January 31, 2006 to read the documents in his fraud case against him. At the end of April 2007, Mavrodi was convicted of fraud, and given a sentence of four and a half years. Since he had already spent over four years in custody (2003-2007), he was later released less than a month later, on May 22, 2007. He later went on to creating yet another pyramid scheme called MMM-2011 (restless dude).
In 2015, MMM began operating in South Africa with the same business model as MMM-2011, claiming a "30% per month" return through a "social financial network". This went well and then in 2016, MMM launched a website targeting the Nigerian audience.
In January 2016 the Chinese government banned MMM on the grounds that it is a pyramid scheme, (Ponzi scheme), and it is not registered in the country (and as a fraudulent scheme cannot it be registered).
With that said, here’s something about MMM Nigeria (www.nigeria-mmm.net): 
 
MMM (Mavrodi Mavrodi Melnikova) Nigeria is a scheme company that guarantees people a 30% interest in addition to their initial registration fee after 3-4 weeks. The system solely relies on referral system in which the company guarantees you commission of a certain percentage when you refer someone to their network.
The information found on the MMM-Nigeria based website states that:
“MMM is a community of people providing each other financial help on the principle of gratuitousness, reciprocity and benevolence.
In MMM you don’t have to make contracts or pledge your property. In MMM there are no lenders and no debtors. Everything is very simple: one participant asks for help — another one helps.”
Good stuff! Let’s continue.

However, targeting the Nigerian audience started in 2016 and still in 2016 the MMM Nigeria based site has gotten over 500,000 members on its website (Nigerians don’t like been left out).
The attention of SEC, Nigeria was drawn to the activities of the online investment scheme tagged ‘MMM Federal Republic of Nigeria (nigeria.mmm.net).
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Nigeria analyzed the things involved in the scheme and recently warned the general Nigerians on the activities of some online investment scheme specifically tagging this ponzi scheme called MMM.
{Here’s what it said: The platform has embarked on an aggressive online media campaign to lure the investing public to participate in what it called ‘mutual aid financial network’ with a monthly investment return of 30 per cent.

“The commission hereby notifies the investing public that the operation of this investment scheme has no tangible business model hence it’s a Ponzi Scheme, where returns are paid from other people’s invested sum. Also, its operation is not registered by the Commission.”
Therefore, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) urged the general public to stay-off of this online scheme which is a deceptive one. Also, adding that this is unsystematic risk that is whoever joins this scam does so at his/her own risk. Describing this as an unsystematic risk shows that it is just a scam because nobody gets compensated for an unsystematic risk; it is a risk you can avoid, that is, it is an avoidable risk.}

The funny thing is that, despite the warning from such an authority and even facts available online about the founder of this scheme - Mavrodi, who is the engineer and brain behind this global scam - many Nigerians are still signing up for this latest version of his scheme in Nigeria. Infact, since the news of its crash in some countries and the warnings, more Nigerians automatically became interested in it. Do you think its poverty or recession or peer influence? Whichever one it is, I don’t think it should be an excuse to be gullible and blind-folded with bait. Pitiable enough, many Nigerians put in their hard earned income, borrowed/stolen  money even money set aside for important things (eg school fees, house rent etc) into this scheme with the hope of making millions. They don’t even know how long this scheme will continue to exist.

 
Well, that’s enough for the history. Let me shock you (Nigerians) a little!

Too bad this scheme will soon collapse. Are you shocked that it will collapse soon? Or are you wondering how it will collapse?
Let’s analyze it:
First, you must have all heard and read the news that South African and Zimbabwean branches of the MMM scheme has crashed. This has made many people lose huge amount of money to it. Even with this news, Nigerians still remain adamant and are still putting their money into scheme (trust Nigerians). Funny enough, you see many Nigerians defending the scheme; I have read and listened to arguments raised by members of MMM Nigeria to prove that the scheme is not a scam. If only these guys were gainfully employed, they will win awards for themselves as a result of the way they proudly promote, defend and represent the brand both online and offline.
Secondly, the fact still remains that many Nigerians know nothing about this scam scheme; what they know or understand is that you just put your money into it and get 30% interest in addition to your initial deposit at the end of the month.

The thing that annoys the most is that Nigerians don’t even think of carrying out feasibility study on the business/investment before pooling their resources into such business/investment. With the feasibility study, many questions like the ones below needs to be answered:

·        The viability of the business
·        The profitability of the business/investment
·        The future of the business
·        The risk associated with the business
·        The past trend (historical records) of the business and others
·        The significance of the business to the Economy

When they find answers to the above questions, they can tell whether to join the scheme or flee from it.
But honestly, if you look at the above you will see that MMM is not worthy of putting your money into. The SEC, CBN and other financial authorities that have warned the general public have meaningful reasons for their statements.

Now, let me put you through answers to the questions above:

·        Is MMM a viable business/investment?
No, MMM is neither a business nor an investment. Looking at the definition of the MMM on the website of the company, you will see that it is not stated there as a business or investment but a helping hand process, that is, reciprocal financial help.

As defined by them, it is a community to help each other. Should we now call it a donation or charity community? The fact still remains that, the deceptive bait called commission of 30% of interest on your initial deposit has brainwashed and taken away the insight of many Nigerians to see the truth behind the scheme.

·        Is MMM profitable?
Without doubt, profitability of any business/investment is subjective. The definition of profit varies and depends on the investor. In the sense of business or investment, MMM it is not profitable. The question bothering your mind now is may be the 30% commission to their subscribers and even fixed percentage of commission to any person that refers another individual into the scheme. Have you stopped to ask yourself where the 30% commission and other commissions come from.
Since, MMM is a platform to help others financially, it is neither a business nor an investment. So, how is the interest or profit given to the people? where is the profit gotten from? is Mavrodi - the founder of this scheme - making profit from this programme? How is he calculating the profit? How is the 30% commission given to people covered? Answer these questions and see what I mean.

·        Does MMM has a future?
Before pooling your resources together and putting in the scheme, ask yourself if it has a future. You investing your money in a scheme or programme that will not last long is like buying a share in a company that will soon fold.
Where do you think the future of MMM is going? A company - as they call themselves- who has no plough-back profits to maintain the running activities of the company rather than relying on the new intake will surely fold up. The examples from neighbouring countries have shown the future of MMM holds nothing than futile. Trust me.

·        What risks are associated with MMM?
Many fanatic members of this scheme will never see any risk associated with this scheme. They even believe it is a risk-free programme as if it is a government bond. No investment or business in this world is risk-free; all businesses are risky but they vary. Now MMM tells you there is no risk associated with the programme. Have you ever heard a private institution engaging in a business without profit? If no, then, all private investments or businesses are risky except it is not a serious institution.

·        What are the historical records of MMM?
If you have been following news updates or even understood the beginning of this post, you will realize that the history/past records about MMM is not really encouraging. MMM has negative reviews with the atrocities caused by the founder. According to reports, they have actually stolen huge amount of money from people in different countries; Russia, South Africa, China, Zimbabwe etc and even made some contemplate, attempt and commit suicide because of their loss.

Even uncivilized people, before putting away their money, they ask questions about the venture; the reputation, history and past records of such business. The history has made us to know that MMM is a scam in which we should not invest our resources in it.

·        What is the significant effect of MMM on the Economy?
Without doubt, Nigeria’s economy is not favourable at the moment but the fact still remains that MMM as a scheme will just worsen the situation. The scheme itself has no other target than the worse or weak economy. The brains behind the scheme target countries that are facing hard times and having poor economy. They know with poor economy, the citizens of such countries will find it to difficult to have high standard of living. And with such a circumstance, everyone will be looking for a place to put their money and get double returns in a short time without stress. When MMM scheme was introduced in China, South Africa, Zimbabwe and others, the economy of such countries was at their poor moment. They used the moment to exploit the weaker people because you hardly find rich men involving in such. They brainwashed this group and with time they all fell into the trap.


The feasibility study discussed above is enough to let you know that MMM is nothing but a scam. I tell you, some people will still not be convinced. People still go on organizing tutorials to get new members on board. They see people against the scheme as obstacles and always try to argue in favor of it. The better side of the argument is that the scheme is paying, it enrich their pockets and they are actually making it from the scheme when they are really finding it hard to even sustain themselves in the present economy of the country. Their focus is just on the benefits and the profit (30% commission), this diverts and has blind folded them to see the sinking future of this Ponzi scheme.

MMM may be new to Nigeria because it just came into existence in 2016, but the whole world knows all the hidden part of this Ponzi scheme because it has been founded since 1994.


Still in doubt? Here are some reasons that shows that MMM is a scam and will soon crash:


·        MMM IS NOT A BUSINESS OR INVESTMENT:

The misconception about this scheme is that, many Nigerians think it is either an investment or business they can put their money and get much earnings from it. It is clearly stated on the website that, it is neither business nor investment so whoever tells you that it is an investment to put your money and earn immediately has been lying to you.

·        YOU ARE ASKED TO USE YOUR SPARE MONEY:
The brains behind this scheme are so smart and keep advising you to make sure you use your spare money. They tell you to use money you think is not that significant to your daily living. Money that if you lose it in the course of this scheme, you might not feel hurt.

·        THE PROMISE OF HIGH RATE OF RETURNS (30% EARNING PER MONTH)

The promise of high rate of returns on your deposits is something suspicious. Even a standard company with reputation will never give you such a high rate of returns on your shares with them let alone a new birthed community called MMM. The bizarre thing is that, educated fellow are putting in their money into something that is not an investment but promises 30% commission per month not even yearly. Have you heard of any investment giving such rate per month and it doesn’t collapse in the nearest future?

·        WHERE IS THE PROFIT GIVEN TO PEOPLE COMING FROM?

If only the scheme has been engaging in activities to make profits and give back 30% returns to their subscribers as gain made, then, people won’t have any issue with them. But as stated on their website, it is not an online business it is just a community where people provide each other financial help.

The question is, where is the 30% commission coming from? Some people say it is from the other people who put in their money. If this is true, I hope you understand that the money of new intakes is being used as commission for the old ones. If new intakes cease to register, then, the collapse is not far.

·        ARE YOU REALLY GIVING HELP TO OTHERS?
The platform said, you willingly provide help to other people with your spare or unused money. After which your account will be credited or rewarded for helping someone else. If moving money from one account to the other is called helping then I foresee a problem. The bad thing here is that, no one can actually request for the so called help without helping someone else! This means that for you to get a penny, you must have given out a pound! (Not cool). MMM is just aiding the process of people giving out money each other. MMM just regulates the process and nothing more.

·        NOBODY PROMISES OR GUARANTEES TO PAY YOU:
Reading this statement alone makes it glaring that this scheme is just a deception. A programme that tells you, your money or interest is not guaranteed; why are many people still adamant to waste their hard earned income on it? I urge you to get MMM manuals or visit their website and read ther policies well to know what you are getting into

·        IS THE FOUNDER OF MMM EARNING ANYTHING?
Have you asked for the profit of the founder/organization for establishing such programme? A Russian coming down here to Nigeria to create a platform where Nigerians will be helping each other by exchanging their funds stand to gain nothing from it? MMM was founded not for profit? Is it a charity programme? Even a charity programme will seek fund from the wealthy personalities to fund their programme.
Please, think critically.


There are two pivotal things that predict the end of this scheme:


·        SHORTAGE OF NEW INTAKES:
The technical instrument in engineering this scheme is the registration of new intakes. If new people are not joining the scheme then MMM will go down.
The brain behind MMM has actually put in place strategies to work against this but it won’t work because its going to blow in his face soon. They now ask their subscribers to make videos and upload it on YouTube to get more people. It is even crystal clear now that, the scheme is going down already, many people have been complaining of delay in payment. If these people fail to put in their fund then, downfall is coming already. They have turned it to door-to-door campaign for the scheme because the inflow is no more sufficient.

·        MANY PEOPLE WITHDRAW THEIR FUNDS:
Someone once said that the only way the scheme will fall is if many people decide to withdraw their money. The scheme has already said that they should not be held responsible for anything. This actually means that if people decide to take their money out, MMM will eventually fold up leaving the remaining people at a loss. Yet MMM says you shouldn’t hold them! So who will the remaining run to?

I foresee Nigerians ignoring all these warnings and taking to social media to blame the government, politicians and others when MMM folds up.
 
It is advisable to stop risking your money on such system. Though you might be making your cool cash money from it, there is a high possibility that you will lose it all.
In your spare time, go online and read reviews about MMM.
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Model, Computer Techie, PR, Social Media Marketer, App Developer, Freelancer, Blogger! . . . Oh, I forgot to add Social Worker! Plus, I like writing my thoughts down! . . AND . . I LOVE making new FRIENDS! . . . Contact me on social media -- Rosy Omeje

3 comments:

  1. God knows i wont waste my money on this!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I want to register now but i hope it doesnt crash soon! Its borrowed money and I wont want problem!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Milay, I advice you use your own spare money. I guess they put that in their website! Using your own spare money will cause you less psychological stress if it eventually folds...

      If you must get the money else where, make sure its an amount you can comfortably pay to avoid stories that touch!

      Delete

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