By Rey Anthony Chiu | 11:19 PM October 09, 2021
A sucker is born every minute. And in this fact feeds scammers, who endlessly finds ways to suck the blood of the gullible, by offering a shortcut to riches.
Take the ripa-ripa for example.
Ripa-ripa is a traditional neighborhood way of helping each other to get cash, own goods or appliances which are otherwise too expensive to get.
Led by a leader, a group is informally formed, usually made up of neighbors, people who know and trust each other. They then agree on the target for the month.
Say, the group agrees on a brand new refrigerator. Since the refrigerator costs about, say P12,000, they agree to put in P1,000 a month.
If there are 12 members, and they agree to pitch in P1000 per month, they meet on a specific date bringing with them P1000 for the fund pool. During the meeting, they draw who gets the P12,000.
By the next month, they gather again putting in P1000, and draw, this time excluding the member who has already gotten his share.
Also adopted as a system to generate savings, some ripa-ripa members agree to lend the money they raised, to earn interest, After a year, usually a month before the fiesta, the member will get his investment, plus the interest in the lending business.
Now, enters the sweet talking scammer.
Seeing that this ripa-ripa could be a launching pad for investments, he comes in and asks the group: what if your P1,000 turns to P1,500 in a month?
Offering a non risk or low risk handsome deal of high return of investment, those eager to get rich quick take the hook.
True enough, by the next month, the investment returns come. Clean P1500.
How did the scammer get the money to payout for the extra P500? He gets this by staring a new group, say P1500 turns to P3000 in a week. From the members who paid P1500, he gets the P500 and this forms the payout for the ripa-ripa group. He keeps the P1,000 of the second group.
Then he starts a third group: P3,000 turns to P4,500. As soon as the members remit their payments, he gest the P3,000 to payout for the second group and keeps the P1,500 for himself.
By this time, those members of the two groups spread the word: this is legitimate as they have received the payments and all are good.
Again, he starts another group, possibly those in the previous ripa groups who have received their handsome payouts. P5,000 turns to P8,000. The payments, of course go to pay for those investing to get P4,500.
This goes on and on and on every group, the scammer gets at least P500 to P3,000, depending on the number of members.
How does this go?
The scammer sweet-talks to the investors a handsome return of investment, in Bohol, it is every two weeks, that their money is invested in the scheme.
As soon as the initial investors receive their money and a good return, news start to spread and widespread recruitment starts.
This time, others who may be interested but without capital, put up their own group, enters the scammers game and becomes a “reseller.”
Usually, resellers themselves invest, seeing that they too can adopt a smaller scheme by hitching on the big group.
As investments are successful in the first few weeks, this convinces more and more investors to put up their money in the system.
And then, as soon as the scammer has already accumulated a huge amount, he disappears, leaving his resellers and the investors with the empty bag.
This scheme, like the ones in the multi-level marketing, are variations of the Ponzi Scheme that has been when suckers are still with us.
And, if one remembers another similar fraud in Kappa in 2016 which reaped millions from Boholanos, this ripa-ripa is nothing new. In time for the elections as one pointed out.
And like they said, there wo’nt be any fools if there are no people willing to be fooled. Or something like that.
With this, and in advise to his constituents who allegedly lost P40million to the ripa scam, here is Lila Mayor Atty Arturo Jed Piollo has to say:
1. There is no such thinga s easy money. If it is an offer for an easy money, chances are, it is illegal and is a scam.
2. Keep yourself grounded. Be content with what you have, do not aim for the heavens, if by doing so, you trample on somebody else’s rights. Content yourself with those money can not buy like love of family, peaceful life, good health and good relationships.
3. God gave us brains, so we have to use it. Check if you put in on a trusted investment.
4. Check if it is legal, with the appropriate licenses and permits from regulatory bodies. Even online businesses need to have permits so your rights can be protected. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)