Of Google Public Likes and “Ponzi” Schemes: Another Pyramid Scam?

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“Hello Waka. Nice to meet you again.” Bursts a joyful buddy of ten years.

“It’ been almost two years maen.” Paul continues.

Paul had just given me a call the previous evening and invited me for a drink at my favourite entertainment joint – Shenanigans Sports Bar in Bungoma town.

Main reason? To introduce me to a “certain business deal” that will incontestibly change my entire life.

“Ok. What about the deal?” I ask him.

“Basically, you get paid to view adverts. Just like that!” He explained.

“You only need an android phone and data bundles to access the Internet. Google will be sending you adverts to view then you get paid per view.”

At this level, I was getting curious and wanted to know more. Earning cash by just viewing an advert surely… That can be very interesting!

So, Paul, my former school mate and now a pharmacist in Pangani, Nairobi, showed me a pair of financial transaction messages in his phone. The messages show he has twice received payment from a source – MPay. The first message indicates he received Sh4,680 and another Sh 1,820 a week later. Money!

Registration fee

According to Paul, all I needed was to register by depositing Ksh 4,500/- with the firm in question and subscribe to the referral link he would send me.

Cash registration? That’s where my suspicion was aroused.

If a company wants to pay me for viewing her adverts, why should I register? Two; how does Paul benefit from the referral link?

Paul explained to me that indeed, he will gain Sh100 if I successfully register via his invitation link. That means,  Paul will be earning Sh100 every day for the whole year due to my invitation.

Google Public Likes is a firm that is currently paying subscribers for vewing ads. Once registered, the firm sends you 26 adverts  (but in form of icons) per day. For each clicked ad, one earns Sh10, making it Sh260 per day.

If 5 subscribers successfully register via your referral link, you will be earning 500/-  each day on top your Sh260, making it Sh 760. What a beautiful deal!

However, from your first subscription, you will have to wait for 18 days before receiving your first cash-out after which the following payments shall be made every Friday on a weekly basis.

Last Tuesday, this scheme generated a heated debate on Twitter with most users questioning the longevity of its existence.

So far, over 600,000 people have subscribed to this scheme. Is it another pyramid scheme?

Dan Hongo, a Bungoma-based IT specialist in web-design and hosting, says this could be just another ponzi scheme where subscribers will just wake up one day and find a “503 error” displayed on the page.

“The Sh 4,500 you register with will actually act as their boost to pay other subscribers – rob-Peter-Pay-Paul! Once they make billions of profit from the desparate online users, they just delete their link from the web and leave without a notice.” Says Dan, who has developed over 66 websites and blogs for various institutions and individuals.

“The beneficiaries will be those who subscribed early when the scheme was launched two months ago. By the time the unkown firm closes, they would have already recovered their registration fee and definitely made some good profit.” He adds.

“The problem with such schemes, just like the pyramid schemes, is that they never tell you when they gonna close,” says Mr Godfrey wa Gathoni, taxi operator in Kisumu who is waiting for his first earning next week.

Firm unknown 

The scheme’s link does not indicate its origin nor any registration particulars and therefore, it is unlikely to be paying any tax to the government. What is not clear is whether the government is aware of this activity or not.

According to Paul, one can update his account by adding more subscription fee for more adverts.

Credibility issues

Yes. The firm pays you for viewing their adverts. But is there any company that can pay you for viewing their ads?

Such scenarios are normally applied to co-operates when they place their ads on blogs and websites. This way, they agree to pay the blogger according to the views the ad has attracted.

Another looming cyber fraud?

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Simiyu Wakajuaness

Blogger Simiyu Wakajuaness is a scriptwriter, actor and stage director with ardent passion in the media and public relations in this digital world. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook on the icons below...

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