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Pyramid scam!

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A couple of weeks ago I received a letter from a man, John, who said to be a representative of a company called QuestNet Ltd. In the letter John said that QuestNet is a well-established interactive world-wide marketing company. He is the head of the division focused on marketing the company in Africa, and that they are about to start business in Somalia. John has already gathered a couple of Somali people that are interested in and he asked me to join to “build a strong Somali groupâ€.


After visiting their homepage I realized that there had to be something wrong with this network marketing company. I googled QuestNet and added words like fraud, illegal, scam etc. and I got several hits! It turned out that this company, which used to go under the name GoldQuest, is a pyramid scam. I have below some information about pyramid schemes.

“Pyramid schemes now come in so many forms that they may be difficult to recognize immediately. However, they all share one overriding characteristic. They promise consumers or investors large profits based primarily on recruiting others to join their program, not based on profits from any real investment or real sale of goods to the public. Some schemes may purport to sell a product, but they often simply use the product to hide their pyramid structure.


There are two tell-tale signs that a product is simply being used to disguise a pyramid scheme: inventory loading and a lack of retail sales. Inventory loading occurs when a company's incentive program forces recruits to buy more products than they could ever sell, often at inflated prices. If this occurs throughout the company's distribution system, the people at the top of the pyramid reap substantial profits, even though little or no product moves to market. The people at the bottom make excessive payments for inventory that simply accumulates in their basements. A lack of retail sales is also a red flag that a pyramid exists. Many pyramid schemes will claim that their product is selling like hot cakes. However, on closer examination, the sales occur only between people inside the pyramid structure or to new recruits joining the structure, not to consumers out in the general public.


Pyramid schemes are illegal because they inevitably must fall apart. No program can recruit new members forever. Every pyramid scheme collapses because it cannot expand beyond the size of the earth's population. When the scheme collapses, most investors find themselves at the bottom, unable to recoup their losses.â€


And here is an example of how bad it can go;

“ Pyramiding at its Worst: The Albania Example

One of the most notable examples of a pyramid scheme sprung up in 1996 in Albania, where the nominal value of the pyramid scam's liabilities equaled half of the country's GDP (gross domestic product), while two-thirds of the population invested in the companies orchestrating the scam. This was a transitory time when the country was in the midst of moving from a communist, or controlled, economy to a capitalist one, with their banking sectors and financial markets short on regulations and long on inefficiencies. With little or no experience in an open-market economy, Albanians began to entrust their money to deposit-taking companies that had begun to spring up. In turn, these companies took the depositor's funds and "invested" them.


These firms evolved into pyramid companies once they realized there was no legitimate way to provide the kinds of returns that would attract large amounts of capital. They began to offer absurd rates of return -- sometimes as high as 100% within a two-month period [a very clear indication of fraud]. In a rush to get ahead and catch up with their well-to-do cousins in Europe, Albanians sold-off everything from their homes to their livestock in order to invest in these companies and see their savings grow.

When the companies' liabilities began to outstrip their assets (ie: new investor's money), the whole scheme came crashing down by the end of 1996 and early 1997, sending the economy into a downward spiral. The people who had lost everything took to the streets, bringing the country to the brink of civil war. Two thousand Albanians perished in the rampage.â€


In the letter I got John wrote that he already successfully had established “network teams†in several African countries, such as Kenya and Uganda, and he was now targeting Somalia, which he claims to have great potential!


This got me really worried so I accepted a meeting with him in order to find out more. I met him in their fancy office downtown, and everything looked very professional. Since I didn’t wanted him to suspect my intentions I put on the role as a naïve, ambitious young lady, this way I hoped I could get as much information as possible – which Somalis were involved, what are the plans for Somalia?


To my relief QuestNet haven’t opened up anything yet in Somalia, however mr John is planning to visit Mogadishu anytime soon. Their goal is not only Somalia, but also Somali people in the Diaspora.


I’m thinking, if Albania went that bad, what will happen to Somalia? Do I need to worry, is there anything I can do? I have the names of the Somali men who are about to launch the thing in Somalia together with mr John. Do I contact them, how will they react, do they know what kind of business they are dealing with?


Can anyone offer some good advice?

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OG Moti   

Girl are you already a victim and not telling us?


Anyway this wont work in Somalia, dont worry about it, i read your article carefully, Somalis dont get involve when they dont't understand and this deal i bet no somali will even get what a pyramid means.. so dont worry and sleep tied.. and do you think a white johnny will dare to go to mogadishu when elected president of Somalia couldn't put a feet in Mogadishu...


but nice scam, better than the Negerian one, I have millions and i want you to share with me and my dad was mandela (will be used when he is dead), I can't believe some people fall for that...



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the other day some guy asked me if i wanned to be part of what he HAGBAD!...after a long discussion of wanning me to pay 1g, i asked him whether my money is insured if this thing fill apart...! his answer, its allah insured!!..... i said no way!!


here is another interesting email i get regularily... whats amazing about it, is that its done in the name of Islam....check it out!!

homie knows me more than my wife!!


-----Original Message-----

From: Abu sal Nadil []

Sent: Thursday, August 11, 2005 5:23 AM


Subject: Salam Mr Rudy


Salam Mr Rudy,


I am pleased to introduce a business opportunity to transfer to your

overseas account the sum of($8.4 USD) Eight million Four hundred

thousand United States Dollars from one of the Prime Banks here in



I am Mr Abu Sal Nadil(Bsc,Msc,) the Auditor General of one of the prime

banks here in Dakar Senegal west Africa ,during the course of our

auditing ,I discovered a floating fund in an account opened in the our

bank since 1982 and till date no body has operated on this account again

,after going through some old files in the records I discovered that the

owner of the account died long ago in a plane crash along with his

family without leaving a[Heir/WILL] hence the funds is floating and if I

do not remit this money out urgently it will be forfeited for nothing.


The owner of this account is Engr.Taha Ibrahim Jama a foreigner, before

his death, he was a management consultant and he died since 1992. No

other person knows about this account or any thing concerning it, the

account has no other beneficiary and my investigation proved to me as

well that until his sudden death he was a management consultant.


Since I hardly know any foreigner,I am only contacting you as a

foreigner with the same surname to stand and apply as his next of kin

because this money can not be approved to a local person here as his

next of kin, without valid international foreign passport.


I need your full co-operation to make this work fine because the

management is ready to approve this payment to any foreigner who has

correct information of this account, which I will give to you upon your

positive response and once I am convinced of your capability and

assurance that you will never never let me down.


At the conclussion of this project ,we may proceed into an investment as

equal partners of which you are to guide it pending my resignation which

will be in a short while after the transfer if you may wish or we may

share it in a ratio of 4.5 for you and 5.5 for me.


Regarding moral justification of the fund ,i wouldn't want you to

consider it haram .If you had being the victim ,Certainly you wouldn't

be happy having your hard earnedfund shared among government as an

unclaim deposit ,i believe they are many other aspects of life we may

contribute with this fund to help the less priveledged and the needy in

a muslim society .


I look forward to your earliest response.

Allah Hafiz

Mr Abu Sal Nadil

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OG Moti   

Negerian pretending to be Somali, balaaayo.. war cusub... but i wonder why only negerians resolve to this kind of cheap scam and not others..?





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These sorts of scams have been around for ages.


What I have been getting recently are emails informing me that someone has attempted to log on to my eBay account from a different IP address and could I confirm if it was me or not by logging in again through the 'secure' link provided. But I don't have an eBay account. :confused:

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The Nigerian scam is also known as a 419 scam, and they usually operate from bases in Nigeria, Spain and The Netherlands and a few other countries and it is a fraud business worth at least $70 million.


But what I don't understand is how anyone can fall for these scams. Their fradulent intentions are so transparent it truly baffles me how people are conned into handing over their life savings.



I once entered into a dialogue with such a person. I pretended to be interested in helping the son of a disposed Liberian president in exchange for a couple of million.


I told him that I was a single mother and widow with a sick child who desperately needed a kidney/heart/lung/ear/liver transplant, otherwise he would die within a month. And that I had saved just enough for his operation, but that I was willing to "lend" him the money out of charity.


I was wondering if he'd feel bad taking advantage of a woman in such a situation. But the callousness of his reply really surprised me. He said that I owed it to my sick son to help him processs some consignment, which - for a 'temporary' fee of £12,000 - would reward me with several millions. He even claimed that he take the place of my son's deceased father... if only I sent him the money.



And as for the pyramid scheme, Elysian it is your moral duty to warn these Somali people and give them as much information as you can. It could be that they already know it's a dodgy scheme and knowingly want to promote it in Somalia. In which case, tell anyone you can. Somali people are no smarter or better than anyone else, when you're destitute and someone offers you such an unbelievable offer, a lot of people could simply attribute it to one of the miracles of life and mistake it for a blessing.


People in the diaspora are actually more at risk, because these people also shoulder the responsibility of taking care of their immediate family and as well as relatives back in Somalia. It is those who bear the greatest financial burdens who are more likely to take the greatest risks.

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What I have been getting recently are emails informing me that someone has attempted to log on to my eBay account from a different IP address and could I confirm if it was me or not by logging in again through the 'secure' link provided. But I don't have an eBay account.

I received the same spam mail but they include my paypal and Royal Bank of Canada account. I don't have ebay or paypal accounts and never heard of Royal Bank of Canada. What's interesting is that I have received one of these emails from Somalis who wrote one paragraph in Somali. I traced their ip address and they belong to ISP company in Toronto and Otawa. You never know tho, someone can use programs to fake/hide their actual ip address. I simply junk those mails so they don't make it to my inbox.


Can you believe a Somali living in Canada trying to spam me? Or his pc possibly been hijacked by spammers.

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I received the same almost 2 yrs ago ,,, i was jumped around first and printed the email. Went to a friend of mine and told me this is the best opportunity forever ,,,,, i couldn't sleep at night hoping that i'll have a sum of Million dollars ,,,,,


Another friend of mine broke my lil excitement telling me that he experienced the same and it is all fake which i then discovered personally ,,,,,



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LOOOOL @ Elysian,you should've told him to go to Muqdisho as soon as possible so he could start "capitalizing" early!!! Don't worry,I'd find out about it when I read in the newspaper "****** White Man Shot Just Outside Hotel in Mogadishu"

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Originally posted by P_508:

i bet no somali will even get what a pyramid means..


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P_508, to understand the scam may be difficult, but when the business idea is presented to you it is very simple and very attractive. It's not like the Nigerian letters, in a pyramid scheme you're recruited and you must recruit others in order to become rich. Therefore it has devastating effect on a society.


No, alhamdullilah, I've never been scammed, my philosophy is; if it's to good to be true, then it's not true.


Here are some more things I found out about QuesNet a.k.a GoldQuest.


"GoldQuest is a scam. I have watched the rise and collapse of it in Sri Lanka and seen many people I have know lose money.


It has been banned in Nepal and Bhutan and has collapsed in the Phillippines, Sri Lanka, India and a number of other countries.


The authorities concerned may be unaware of the scheme.


Please inform your local consumer protection bureau, police or other relevant authority. You will be performing a valuable public service, to many poor countries.


They are currently scamming people in Cambodia, Somalia, Tanzania and Vietnam.


They deliberately target poor countries because the legal systems are outdated (pyramiding is therefore very often not a crime), the law enforcement authorities corrupt (when action is eventually contemplated, authorities can be bribed) and the people gullible and innocent not having encountered these schemes (which are often touted as 'poverty alleviation' and "self employment" schemes . GoldQuest used this ploy in Sri Lanka to defend themselves when the Central Bank tried to take action.)"

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