Of late, both social and mainstream media were flooded with discussions on online digital businesses. While some netizens advocated against it, cautioning them of possible scams, those in the business defended it as legitimate like any other business.

There are fears the business is a pyramid scheme disguised as a multi-level marketing scheme where old members entice new members to derive certain economic benefits.

Members who reached higher levels profit from new recruits’ sale of water ionising machines and other products in percentages. The business is pervasive in nature as it attracts new members because of the misguided advertisement of making easy money by doing digital business. There is no mention of the need to sell the products on any of the digital entrepreneurs’ pages.

While authorities from relevant organisations are supposedly investigating and issuing advisories, concerns are raised that the business could collapse when the market is saturated, robbing the new investors of their hard-earned money. The schemes will only last as long there are people joining it.

Many pyramid schemes were reported in the country before. The economic affairs ministry deemed many such schemes before as unfair trade practices.

We are a gullible and naïve society. We want transient prosperity. We all want to make easy money.

As technological advancements facilitate online scams and pyramid schemes operate like multi-level marketing or network schemes, it is imperative authorities verify if the acts, methods or practices of the business are unfair, unconscionable or deceptive.

The Covid-19 pandemic had already made life difficult for many. No one should be duped into businesses that use products or services to collect money from the investors on the bottom levels to pay other investors further up the pyramid.

If it is legitimate as claimed, it is also the responsibility of authorities like the Office of Consumer Protection, Department of Trade and Royal Monetary Authority to ensure that the scheme doesn’t collapse. There should also be laws that protect the innocent and those luring others into the business should be held accountable if it collapses.

While every citizen has the right to invest money in any business, it is good to be cautious of businesses that focus on recruitment of new people and sale of products discreetly. Any business that has to be done covertly has something to hide. Products or services should not be a cover to recruit more people into the business.

Let us not forget that we live in a country emphasising on the well-being and happiness of everyone. Any pyramid scheme disguised as multi-level marketing will not just affect the investors, but their families and the country’s economy as a whole.