Pyramid schemes spreading like wildfire in Samoa as participants ignore warnings
Apia, SAMOA — Ongoing pyramid scheme fiascos continue with several different types spreading quickly in Samoa, with some being traced to staff members of several high level organizations including business, international agencies and government ministries.
Samoa Global News has been able to interview participants from four separate schemes, all pyramid in nature because of the necessary requirement to recruit more people and create more ‘legs’ (su’e ni vae).
One participant told Samoa Global News that in their scheme, there is someone two levels above her who works at ‘SLR’. Asked what ‘SLR’ stood for, they responded, “The Samoa Law Reform Commission, so you see, it’s legit because they’re lawyers.”
When Samoa Global News visited the SLRC offices on Friday afternoon, the Chief Executive Officer was on leave, however, two staff members said they had never heard of an individual from their office being involved in such a scheme.
“No Way. We are a Government Agency that drafts and upholds Laws;
“If we find someone here doing that, we will press charges against that person and immediately terminate his/her service,” one senior staff member said.
The SLRC staff member then suggested that high level agencies and organizations could be victims of name-dropping by those trying to lure others into the schemes.
“I think people who are running these schemes are now name-dropping offices such as ours, to gain money, and get others to join.”
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi then also issued warnings on his weekly media programs this week. Tuilaepa gave specific examples and explained how pyramid schemes worked, warning that there may be different names and modifications, but they are still pyramids in nature.
“They are designed to grow and grow, and will only benefit those on the top of the pyramid,” said the Prime Minister.