Friday, 15 March 2013

Discriminate!

We need to discriminate more. In fact we should be more prejudiced. I think we should be a nation that judges certain people and organisations simply by their behaviour.

Of course I don’t mean we should be racist, sexist or any other nonsensical “-ist” but I do think we have the right to demonstrate prejudice against certain things.

To begin with I think we’re now entitled to be prejudiced against any investment scheme that promises remarkable returns. Our experience with Eurextrade, a Ponzi scheme that seemed to be specifically targeted at Botswana and stole millions of Pula from it’s gullible and sometimes greedy victims now permits us the right to be prejudiced against anything that looks remotely similar.

Just a few days ago I was alerted to a similar scheme that’s just emerged. This one calls itself “Oil of Asia” and they describe themselves as:
"one of the leading investment companies globally with financial activity conducted in oil market, Oil of Asia Ltd is a truly recognized for its excellence in customer service and tons of satisfied customers in more."
Do you get the impression that English isn't their first language?

They describe their business like this:
"We collect investments from numerous customers from around the world, unite them in one investment fund while leaving some funds for reserve fund, and then purchase futures and securities sold by oil companies worldwide."
That's the closest you get to an explanation of how they say they make money. Once you look closely the usual clues are there that this is another Ponzi scheme. For instance, and this is ALWAYS the giveaway, they make some remarkable claims about the money you can earn. They claim that you can earn “3% Fixed Daily Profit for 75 business days”.


There is, I'm afraid, no legitimate investment scheme that can make 3% interest on a consistent basis. There never has been, there isn’t now and there never will be. If it WAS possible, after 75 days you would have earned an astonishing 791% return and that’s after just a couple of months. If you kept your money in for a year you'd earn 4,706,960%.


Given that a real bank is only going to give you 10% at most after a year the conclusion is obvious.

There are other clues.

They claim to be registered as a company in the UK. That's true, the company was registered in October 2012 to an address in South East London, 45 Queenswood Road, London SE23 but this address is actually that of a small and rather scruffy-looking house in Lewisham, south London, not that of an “international oil trading and investment corporation”.

What’s more, despite describing themselves as such an impressive company, they’re NOT registered with the UK's Financial Services Authority.

One last curiosity about “Oil of Asia”. On their web site they offer a list of contacts from around the world. Although the list seems dominated by Nigerians there are also a few people from Botswana on the list. One of them was on the list of contacts for Eurextrade. Clearly some people are serial Ponzi scheme recruiters. The reason of course is simple. “Oil of Asia” offer an incentive, like Eurextrade did, for victims to recruit others.


[Update: Since writing the list of Botswana contacts has increased. Now there are TWO who were formerly connected with Eurextrade.]


Needless to say there will be plenty of willing recruits to this latest scheme and it’s more than likely that they’ll lose more money, even those who should have learned their lesson from the collapse of Eurextrade.

So I think we have a right to be rather prejudiced against any investment scheme that promises remarkable daily profits. Let’s treat them the way we would treat any person we despised.

We’re also entitled to discriminate against car importers that tell lies and break promises. Like the local agent for Trans Africa Vehicle Exports who took a large amount of money from a client to buy a car in the UK but then delivered the wrong one and then refused a refund until he could find a new buyer for the wrong car. Despite eventually promising a refund (“we will refund her”) there were endless delays in actually making the payment. When the client, the importer and I eventually all met he assured us both that the refund would be made the same day. Yes, in case you’re wondering, I DID record the conversation, including his promise to pay the refund the same day.

It’s no surprise of course that he lied. No payment was made that day, nor the next day, nor the one after that. At the time I’m writing this she still hasn’t got her money back.

Unfortunately this isn’t the only problem we’ve heard of from the same company. So far three different readers have complained with similar stories of wrong cars being delivered and a long list of broken promises.

The last emails I received from the company, following the broken promise of a refund was simple.
“We do appreciate your consumer awareness articles you run in our local papers but we chose to remain silent in this instance”

[and then]

“We feel that we are not obliged to have a word on it and that it does not serve our interests. About the progress we so far made regarding our promise we made when you were present in our office, you will definitely be the first person to be updated. It has always been our policy to uphold the rights of our clients.”
That’s just untrue.

Both the “Oil of Asia” scheme and the woefully unreliable Trans Africa Vehicle Exporters here in Botswana are good examples of where prejudice and discrimination aren’t morally wrong responses. In fact they’re wise and perhaps even essential defences against abuse. Let’s show them the discrimination they so richly deserve.

1 comment:

Kasey Chang said...

You can find some more hilarious HYIPs here:

http://www.realscam.com/f10/when-times-tough-hyips-become-more-ridiculous-1084/index6.html

Oil of Asia was posted there back in January 2013, so it's slightly old, but there are many others.