Beware, Bank warns

The Central Bank of Samoa has issued a warning to members of the public against ‘get rich quick schemes’ and the use of digital currency.

The warning was offered by the Bank’s Financial Intelligence Unit yesterday in light of growing concerns about such schemes fooling unsuspecting members of the public.

“We wish to advise the general public to be very cautious and diligent in dealing with get rich quick schemes or digital currency investments,” a statement from the Bank said.  

“It has been brought to our attention that a lot of get rich quick schemes and digital currency investment opportunities being spread around the country through presentations and through social media – ie. facebook!  

“Please be aware and extra cautious of these investments.  Please contact the Central Bank of Samoa if you are not quite sure about these types of investments.”

According to a source, one such scheme is making rounds among church members and pastors where members are encouraged to sign up and collect membership for the promise of thousands of tala in return.

The scheme involves buying into a travel project where members will get cheap travel, accommodation and other perks.

In the statement from the Central Bank, they are encouraging members of the public to contact them if anyone is not sure about anything in particular.

The Bank has also moved to educate people about digital currency and terms like Bitcoin.

“What is ‘digital currency’? Digital currency is the use of electronic money which is different from the money we use physically like our tala notes or coins or even our A.T.M cards.

“Digital Currency allows for ‘instant’ transactions and borderless transfers from one person to another ‘without’ going through a bank or a money transfer operator.  An example of this digital currency is BITCOIN.

“What is Bitcoin?  At the aftermath of the Financial Recession of 2007, an entity or alias by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto invented a new concept called Bitcoin in 2009.  

“In this concept, they claimed that the financial crisis was caused by financial institutions such as Banks.  Their solution to the financial crisis was to ‘remove’ the financial institutions and let the people deal directly with each other using Bitcoin.  

“If you come across these difficult and complex financial concepts and investments, please contact the Central Bank of Samoa for more information. 

“Before you invest in these types of ventures, please ensure that you fully understand how it works and the benefits and risks of doing so.  

“Also, please avoid getting into these get rich quick schemes.  If it’s too good to be true, then most likely it is!”

Members of the public are asked to contact the Central Bank of Samoa on phone  34-100 (extension 120 or 133).

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