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‘Money Matters BVI’ to expose local Pyramid & Ponzi schemes

- radio show airs Sunday, Aug 23, 2020 @ 2:00 pm on ZBVI 780am
Money Matters BVI is the financial literacy program at the BVI Financial Services Commission and they noted that features of such informal saving clubs are that all participants are known and may even be close family or friends and have been around in Caribbean, West Africa and other countries for ages. Photo: Internet Source
 Money Matters BVI is the financial literacy program at the BVI Financial Services Commission and they noted that features of such informal saving clubs are that all participants are known and may even be close family or friends and have been around in Caribbean, West Africa and other countries for ages. Photo: Provided
Money Matters BVI is the financial literacy program at the BVI Financial Services Commission and they noted that features of such informal saving clubs are that all participants are known and may even be close family or friends and have been around in Caribbean, West Africa and other countries for ages. Photo: Provided
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Residents in the Virgin Islands (VI) are being encouraged to tune into a discussion via the 'MONEY MATTERS BVI' Facebook page or ZBVI Radio station on Sunday, August 23, 2020, at 2:00 pm as the team will delve into how Ponzi and Pyramid Schemes work and why they are poor financial investments.

Not your typical savings club

“Living in the British Virgin Islands you would be hard-pressed to find a working-age resident who hasn’t heard about the informal saving system known popularly as “Paadna hand” or “Susu” a release on the show noted.

Money Matters BVI is the financial literacy programme at the BVI Financial Services Commission and they noted that features of such informal saving clubs are that all participants are known and may even be close family or friends and have been around in Caribbean, West Africa and other countries for ages. 

"Ties are linked to the need for persons in migrant communities to establish credit, and form close bonds of solidarity in order to create economic sustainability."

Large migrant population attractive for promoters of scheme

With the Virgin Islands having a workforce represented by over 31% migrants from other Caribbean countries with a familiarity with Paadna hand, that makes it the perfect hook, line and sinker attraction for promoters of Ponzi and Pyramid Schemes."

According to Money Matters BVI; however, is that what unsuspecting eager investors don’t know is, for instance, how far down the Pyramid Scheme they are entering, and how close the Ponzi Scheme is to drying up.

"Which of course would increase their chance of both being left out in the cold regarding their investment and anticipated returns, and worse, having no legal recourse."

Public e-Forum planned 

As part of the upcoming show, the team has invited key personnel from the BVI Financial Services Commission, BVI Financial Investigation Agency, Royal Virgin Islands Police Force and BVI Finance to speak to the issue at a live Public e-Forum this weekend.

The show will also explore the finding of an August 2020 MONEY MATTERS BVI surveys and focus group sessions, where over 80% of those participating had been targeted by recruiters to join Pyramid and Ponzi Schemes.  

17 Responses to “‘Money Matters BVI’ to expose local Pyramid & Ponzi schemes”

  • pat (21/08/2020, 18:49) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    Thanks we need this information
  • GG (21/08/2020, 19:14) Like (7) Dislike (4) Reply
    Not sure what to think of this as i sit here counting my second cash out for $10800. The 1st was really fast and this time around was a little slower. Ill probably stick to the $100 to $800 cashouts to be safe just incase.
  • island man (21/08/2020, 19:23) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply

    Some a dem same ***** police doing it and taking people money and making sure dem get others dont

  • Signal (21/08/2020, 21:43) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    @WOW. Don't mist the signal red flag warning. First one fast second one a bit slower please take heed now the third one you may never see. Same thing with the 100.00 it works no different just that you loose less.
    • GG (22/08/2020, 06:29) Like (15) Dislike (1) Reply
      @Signal...... Thanks for the warning and its something to think about. But here is a gem that people do not seem to realise........ These ponzi schemes or paadna hands work NO DIFFERENT than your local insurance agencies, especially NHI. But thats a pill Money Matters BVI aint ready to swallow yet. Where was everybody insurance after Irma? Many of us paid but couldnt cash out.
  • Not safe! (21/08/2020, 21:53) Like (18) Dislike (1) Reply
    It probably works well for those at the top but as the scheme gets bigger, those at the bottom lose out.
    Not me!! I work too hard for my money to get involved in stuff like that.
  • Yes (21/08/2020, 23:40) Like (2) Dislike (8) Reply
    somebody always have a problem and think they know it all: a fool and his money is soon parted let the people do what they want with their funds
  • Guest (22/08/2020, 02:54) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    BVI people are dumb. There is a set of BVI individuals who are behind most of the Ponzi schemes that have arrived in the BVI. So much so that once you hear their names or the church they are hosting it at, you know it’s a scam and its early stages. Yet other people plug their money into their scams like fools.......
    • Not my poster (22/08/2020, 11:01) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Duff bottom church gang .....
      • wow (22/08/2020, 11:31) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        So this really is a slang by that church ...I heard it often from previous coworkers but didn’t know it is an overall church motto
  • Leave my Sou-Sou Alone Eh! (22/08/2020, 09:03) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
    You know what i don't understand, the banks, insurance companies, pension companies even our the 9-5(job) are some examples of Ponzi schemes. However, the small man who decided to come together as a group and do partner hand also known as box hand, we also refer to it as sou-sou or su-su hand. We are told to save our money through the banks- however, the banks use our money to make more money and pays us little to know returns and yet we are being charge monthly fees ($5.00, $25.00, $30.00) just for saving or using our money. Look after the hurricane, people have been paying their insurance for years and missed one(1) payment or were unable to make a few payments, and just like that they were not qualify for any benefits. Look at some of these pension companies here locally, they invest our money in the stock market knowing the risk they(pension company) wont even insure your cash in the even that things turn for the worst. Do you think it is right for you to have $80,000 invested with a company and then through some bad management your stock manager says to you that you lose all your money because the stock market crash(what do you call that?) When you compare losing $80,000 of your entire saving VS losing $100 or $800 which would you prefer? Sorry for rambling but some of our Government officials are not working in the best interest of the people especially the 'small man". My last point is on the (9-5) for some of us who value our job and have been working towards a goal, be it to have a house, own a piece of property or want a better life for their family are told that their service is not needed anymore due to this Covid 19 and then being told after 20 years of working we can only give your $1000 gratuity, is that right?
    NOW!!! for those persons who are out there preaching about investing $100 to get $800 or $1300 to get $10800 MUST STOP IT! This is not an investment it's a SCAM!!! That money is not being used for anything of value or returns. Additionally, the way this was structured was to help each other through gifting not by investigating.

    Everything in life is a risk so be wise.
  • max (22/08/2020, 10:15) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
    I have no sympathy for the greedy. Let the greedy involve themselves in these scams.
  • pat (22/08/2020, 11:54) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Can’t wait to tune in
  • Quietly Watching (22/08/2020, 12:29) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    Well, I am happy that Financial Services and Money Matters are all sitting in one forum to discuss our money in the BVI. Partner hands, cash put into a pot and hands are given out in turn. Works. I could be wrong, but I consider them only a saving mechanism for those who do not have huge savings in the bank but considers this a bill, so pay every two weeks and then they get their lump sum. So in actuality it is a saving. What does the partner hand and the bank have in common? No interest. But for the person making a small salary or whose bills are huge monthly, or can never have a lump sum to save or pay a huge bill like house insurance, for instance, it works. The Fire Susu hand well, that is a different animal. You put in a figure and the interest is off the chain. I think we can safely blame the banks and Financial Services for this scheme. Yes, I said it. Why? We cannot win with the banks. If you need a loan, a personal loan, 13 percent you are told. So you are paying back almost double. Mortgages, loans, the interests are much higher than even right there in the U.S. Virgin Islands and we have two U.S. Banks here. On the other hand, if you have savings, they put nothing on it for interest, and when I say nothing, I mean nothing. I am not even going to task my brain to give your percentages. We all know what they are. On loans, they are through the roof and on savings, non-existent. So I would love to sit with the folks from Money Matters BVI and Financial Services and ask them how they expect persons to not take advantage of things where the payout is through the roof.

    The insurance company as well is taking full advantage of persons in the BVI. Does Money Matters BVI and the Financial Services have the cahooners to go and meet with them? Have they put together a forum to look into their thiefing practices?

    I paid $4,000 insurance before Irma. Now I pay $8,000 and of course at payout time during Irma, I was "under insured".

    So the system is sick. You cannot win with the banks and the insurance companies and Financial Services has the mandate to look into these insidious practices. Why should you be able to get a mortgage in St. Thomas at 2.5% and in the BVI 5%? Does Money Matters BVI and Financial Services know this? Oh, they probably told them about not being able to sell our loans and about Fan... Ma... I can say that the large majority of people in the BVI pay for their houses. And the high interest rates causes huge monthly payments. The banks do not have a huge problem with non-payment of loans in this Territory. Instead though, we are the laughing stock of the U.S.V.I. Branch who call over here when they need a stimulus of cash. We are their cash cow. In fact, I am sure if you ask the new Republic Bank they will tell you that only in the BVI their rates are through the roof on loans and other fees.

    So Money Matters BVI, Financial Services, if you are going to turn a blind eye to the above, please, mind your business when the people are trying to attain their own cash stimulus without using illegal means. Look into the above before you tell persons what to do with their money in pyramid schemes or anything else. The people in this country are being forced into partner hands and sou sou hands. All this while Ke... Ba... sits and allow the banks and insurance companies to raise their fees and pay out nothing in return. And in case Money Matters and Financial Services do not know, we see what is being done all over the world at this time to assist their citizens, especially with regards to mortgage payments. So if you can't help us with anything else, leave us with our sou sou hands, partner hands. Turn a blind eye like you do with everything else. You seem phony.
    • hello (22/08/2020, 15:26) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      I wish I could like your comment a million times!! Leave us with our partner hands and sous sous hands. We will take the risk. Go after those that rape us year in abc year out.
  • We want our money. (22/08/2020, 16:16) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    While you are at it, investigate the Tórtola Cooprative Credit Union. Virgin Gorda members cant get their investments back for years. No government agency seems to be able to assist.

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