Ngā Tāngata Microfinance is warning whānau against pyramid schemes promoted to Māori and Pasifika families (Source: Waatea News)
General manager Natalie Vincent says schemes like gifting or koha circles may seem attractive to people who feel pressured at Christmas time to provide lavish gifts and large feasts for friends and family, but they are illegal.
Any investment scheme that derives its income from recruiting new members, as opposed to the sale of goods and services, is considered by law to be a pyramid scheme.
Ms Vincent says there is now a wave of pyramid schemes conducted with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Tron, which allow would-be scammers to operate in the shadows, independent of banks.
She says whānau in need can ask for free and confidential help from financial mentors within the FinCap network of budget services, including help to apply for a Ngā Tāngata interest-free loan.
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