BVI News

BVI residents warned to beware of pyramid schemes in the territory

Residents across the British Virgin Islands are being warned by the Financial Services Commission (FSC) to beware of pyramid schemes and other related investment scams.

This advisory came in a media release from the FSC on Wednesday, which warned residents of the significant financial losses that can occur from these schemes.

Characteristics of a Pyramid Scheme

According to the FSC, a pyramid scheme is a fraudulent money-making scheme which uses an unsustainable business model.

The model usually involves exchanging money for the enrollment of other people into the scheme, without the receipt of any legitimate products or services.

“A pyramid scheme generally requires you to recruit friends or family members to enter the scheme and make contributions. If you do this successfully, you are paid or gifted out of their contributions. Your family and friends are then told to recruit others to keep the chain going. Your money is not actually invested in any product. Instead, it is simply passed in some defined sequence to other members,” the FSC said.

“Eventually, without an unlimited pool of persons, the number of new recruits fails to sustain the payment structure and the scheme collapses with most people losing the money they paid in. This is particularly true for small territories with a small or finite population,” the FSC added.

Recovering monies almost impossible

The FSC – the territory’s single regulatory authority for financial services business – also said persons who are often scammed by these schemes usually are unsuccessful in retrieving their monies invested.

“Because pyramid schemes are unauthorized and make no legitimate investments and therefore no profits, a member is very unlikely to recover any monies contributed, while the fraudster at the top will collect most of the profits. Very often, those who entered the scheme later loses,” the FSC stated.

It added: “Members of the public should seek professional advice from competent persons to help evaluate potential investment opportunities, minimize risks, and avoid becoming victims of fraud.”

Therefore, the FSC is asking residents to be vigilant of all business investment opportunities that may exhibit the aforementioned characteristics.

Copyright 2020 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

44 Comments

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  1. island man says:

    Tolians too darm glutineous

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    • Lilly says:

      Not Tolians. You are speaking on behalf if your country men.

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      • Local says:

        Tolian you say how many of them working at the hospital. Is it not the doctors and nurses down there running the biggest scheme 10400.00 payout asking for you to put in 1350. And invite people in to continue the circle so you can collect faster. Watch what you saying about tolian we are hustlers not thieves. I know you going to say drug dealers but that’s ok once there is a demand there will be a supplier.

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        • Curious says:

          Is it true that is the doctors and nurses recruiting people to join? i thought was the local staff trying to get everybody involved…

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    • Don't be foolish says:

      It’s not just Tolians who are doing it. I was approached by an expat to join one such scheme, but declined. I don’t understand why some of you always like to pick on locals…I have been living in the BVI for over 30 years and I have no problems with locals.

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  2. gullible says:

    as the saying goes…a drowning man will catch at a straw

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  3. Top-to-Bottom says:

    Top of government pyramid = marijuana, Bottom of government pyramid = gambling. Ancient pyramids include Airlines, Greenhouses and other unsustainable business models where recovering the money is nearly impossible !

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  4. If says:

    If your greedy and stupid enough to get involved in one of these then you deserve to lose your money.

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  5. Really! says:

    The FSC needs to get down to earth and stop the endless hustling on the streets, corners, bars, restaurants, parking lots, etc. by beggars. Every village/town/city on Tortola has all these people soliciting donations, contributions, etc. of cash with no receipt for various organizations, unidentified churches, medical bill or health problem assistance, etc. It’s disgusting.

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    • Anonymous says:

      that’s definitely NOT the purpose of the FINANCIAL SERVICES COMMISSION, the purpose is to REGULATE the FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY. idk what a random person on the street begging has to do with that.

  6. Mind Yo Business says:

    Tortola people FAMOUS for borrowing money from people and not paying it back to put on a show. It’s the same damn thing

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    • Jill says:

      You have got to be kidding.

    • smh says:

      You s***king minded EXPATS are so selfish! who does beg and borrow more than ayo! then ayo go bout the place bragging you build big house back home. Thats with ppl money that you never paid back for! ayo love to use family member sick just to beg!

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    • Well says:

      Ah bunch ah people done borrow from between St. Thomas and Tola, for years now not one pay back, and not one ah dem from Tola or St. Thomas.

      Got bad minded people every where in every race and country. Let that sink prejudice bad mind.

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  7. Guilty says:

    Cockfighting and drug ring have been the most relentless schemes for years. Good one for the leader of the opposition to tackle?

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  8. Fave says:

    FSC needs to look into the insurance and banking businesses because they are the largest schemers around.

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    • @Fave says:

      You are so correct. The insurance companies act like the Mob. Collect premiums and when it’s time to pay they tell you to f*** off. The FSC regulates them but [do] the insurance companies payoff the FSC to keep their mouths shut? Consumer Protection did nothing to help regulate these people. Good luck people. Hurricane season is here.

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  9. peebles says:

    it in the hospital strong them island doctors and nurses…….

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  10. Anonymous says:

    So playing lottery is not a scheme?? People lose their money all the time trying to win lotto. What about partnerhand. People lose their money in it too. So gambling should consider a scheme as well

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  11. Old says:

    How they get that money in the bank Lots of people from the Bvi in it.

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  12. LoL! says:

    Yet still ppl out here laughing all the way to the bank! The Government cant tax partner hands,gifts etc. ofc they will call it a scheme lol

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    • 2020 says:

      Partner hand was already subject to the relevant taxes. No? Afterall, the funds come out of your net pay check. So how can the government tax it again. Would that not be theft?

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      • @2020 says:

        Shouldn’t that same argument be applicable to taxing money sent out through MoneyGram and Western Union? Those sending money are paying out of their net pay check, yet it is being taxed again. According to your argument, that is theft.

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  13. LoL says:

    The fact remains ppl will say what they want about what they fail to understand a pyramid scheme is totally different to what ppl out here are actually doing.

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  14. Bree says:

    What is amazing about this scheme is the persons asking you to join are currently unemployed and bawling they don’t have money to cover rent, food and basic essentials but could find money for this foolishness. They begging on every corner. I saw one personally coming from FSN collecting food but when to the bank and got money for this. Some people in this place never cease to amaze me.

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  15. No name says:

    Let FSc whatever it is go and chat to the insurance companies, the business owner who dont pay the people social security and they know the other

  16. Pyramid says:

    BVI Government- biggest pyramid scheme going

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  17. Tip says:

    Check BVIHSA first to see who all in it.

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  18. ? says:

    What are the names of these pyramid schemes?

  19. Mmmmmm says:

    Hospital staffs already got hit. Poor people. Want to make a quick 10k?

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  20. Mark says:

    Its not your money so wha ah yo here worrying about? Everybody know the risk, if u aint interested leave the people them let them make them 10k. Half of u never save that amount in ur account so if it aint for u, it aint for u.

  21. Anonymous says:

    If my nasty worthless no good BVI husband take money out of our hard earned joint savings and pay the wh%re$ around here for sex, shouldn’t that be called a scheme too? Everyday good people dying or some go missing yet the parasite still hanging around, that waste of space, life really is not fair for real, I just don’t know what God waiting on.

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    • Wize up says:

      You are a good for nothing. I bet you married the man to get your stay and as soon as you got it you haul up your legs and start wearing long frock to bed. Who to blame if he pays for flesh outside? You of course. Hmmm

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  22. hospital staff says:

    we got money several time thanks to this scheme i am on my 5th hand thank you.

  23. Think about it says:

    What is greed. If people aim to get their abundance in their lifetime, you call it greed simply because YOU failing to go get yours. Stay in your lane i.e. with a Just Over Broke (JOB) mentality, 8am-5pm+more exchanging your time for other people money. Get the hell outta your box.

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  24. Shame says:

    A lot of them greedy Guyanese in it
    Them is who pushing it bout 1800 start and get 10000 later
    yea right

  25. stop says:

    everytime something happen it’s always talk about local or expat. people this need to stop. what is the difference between us one white one black nope. only thing I see different we speak a little different. all of us has a dream a plan a life.
    let’s focus on the topic and stop this s***t everyone here comes from somewhere.

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    • Nonsense says:

      True word,i have never see are hear this in my life time, people just hate each other for nothing then talk about black life matter,it’s not like another race hating an black it’s black against black shame on you people

  26. Just saying . says:

    The biggest scheme is social security they take from you all your adult life and hardly want to pay when you are sick and unemployed but promise to give you something when you are old 65 to be exact that is if you reach that golden age. How many people live to reach that age that spend all their lives contributing to that scheme. Why you think they have so much money. They take more then they give. If people now want to take the risk to try a new scheme is their own money every thing in life is a risk. It’s the fsc job to warn the public but can they tell you who to give your money to?

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