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Do Not Fall Into The Trap Of Get Rich Schemes

Exposing get rich quick schemes

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get rich schemes
Don't get fooled by get rich schemes as they are scams. Pixabay

Get rich schemes – call them what you may – have siphoned off some Rs 7 lakh crore but no one seems to bat an eyelid, laments Aruna Ravikumar, a three-decade veteran of the print and electronic media, in her new book, tracing their origins to the liberalisation of the economy in 1991.

“The losses in Ponzi and pyramid (Multi-Level Marketing-MLM) in the country are being pegged at INR 7 lakh crore and no one’s batting an eyelid. These figures don’t seem to matter anymore in a country that has gotten used to scams involving huge amounts of money in the banking system,” Hyderabad-based Ravikumar writes in “Marauders of Hope” (The Write Place/Crossword/pp 166/Rs 299).

get rich schemes
Do not fall into the trap of scammers in the name of investment as they might never return your money. Pixabay

“So sick and tired have citizens become of these mind numbing figures that the shock element is long gone. We have even started comparing scam figures finding one less dangerous than the other in the manner of comparing school grades.”

Just how true this is can be gauged from three high-profile cases currently in the public eye – Saradha (Rs 1,200-Rs 4,000 crore), Rose Valley (Rs 17,000 crore) and IMA (Rs 2,500 crore) – none of which are anywhere near closure. In the case of the first, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee went to the extent of staging a sit-in protest against the questioning of former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar for his alleged involvement in the goings-on.

Get rich schemes
Several vicitms of get rich schemes have reported that they never got their investment back. Pixabay

Autonomous regulatory institutions “have to exercise their authority without fear to serve the purpose for which they were established. We have examples of officers following the rule book and remaining true to their conscience, despite may pressures. They ought to be role models for those in various positions of authority if the system providing a shield to the corrupt has to be cleansed,” Ravikumar maintains.

How did the book come about?

“As a journalist with the print and electronic media for almost three decades, I have covered several political and social issues. One of the topics in a television debate programme that I anchored for a regional television channel was on fraudulent multilevel marketing firms since many firms came under the scanner of the police at that point of time,” Ravikumar told IANS.

Get rich schemes
Make right choices with your savings and get a legitimate investor to handle your finances. Pixabay

“Shocking details about the modus operandi, the huge amount of money being made by people outside the country, evasion of taxes, money laundering, the web of deception and trail of broken relationships in a marketing model that encourages tapping social contacts for recruitment led me to study the subject in depth. I also realised that people were talking about bank frauds and other financial institutions but there was no conversation around fraud that impacts everyone in society and is more than Rs 7 lakh crore in the two decades since these companies entered India post liberalisation. There was a story here that had to be told and I told it,” she added.

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Speaking about her research for the book, the author said this proved to an eye-opener and made her acutely aware of the survival instincts of the “Marauders of Hope”.

“I spoke to victims, company representatives, whistle-blowers, the judiciary and police officers who acted without fear or favour in the best interests of the people. I went through court judgements, newspaper articles, video clippings and all available material on fraudulent financial schemes in the one-and-a-half-years that led to the book,” Ravikumar added. (IANS)

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UN offers help to journalists, whistle-blowers under threat

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United Nations: Journalists and whistle-blowers facing threats or retaliations for their work in the public interest can reach out to him for help, a top UN official dealing with freedom of expression says.

David Kaye, the UN special rapporteur for freedom of expression, said that whenever journalists or whistle-blowers felt threatened, they can contact him directly or through non-governmental organisations. He would look into their complaints and, if these are genuine, his office would take up the cases with the governments, he said.

Speaking to reporters here Thursday, Kay said that the fact someone is watching them can put a brake on retaliations by governments.

Kay, who is with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, was a law professor at the University of California at Irvine.

He said the disclosures by whistle-blowers, who often are the sources for journalists, are important in safeguarding human rights and in fighting corruption.

He said the definition of journalists should be broadened to include bloggers, citizen journalists, non-governmental organisation (NGO) researchers, authors and academics as they are all now important sources for informing the public.

While conceding that some information may deserve special protection, he said that when their disclosure is in the public interest the punishment should not be disproportionate. It is important in the public interest to encourage whistle-blowers, he added.

But speaking at the General Assembly earlier, Kay said, “States may restrict access to information in specific areas and narrow circumstances, yet the disclosures of information relating to human rights or humanitarian law violations should never be the basis of penalties of any kind.”

Kay presented to the General Assembly a report focusing on whistle-blowers and sources of information that accused governments and international organisations of failing to adequately protect whistle-blowers.

“Countless sources and whistle-blowers around the world are intimidated by officials, co-workers, and others depriving everyone of information that may be critical to public debate and accountability,” he said.

(IANS)