Once again, Kenyans lose millions from an investment scam. Below are questions that are in people’s minds:
How comes all these people were lured into this Bullish Trade scam?
Is Bullish Trade for real?
Do people ever learn?
Will Bullish Trade come back?
What happened to the Bullish Trade website?
Before we start judging the victims harshly, just ask yourself if you wouldn’t consider joining considering the purported benefits below. I must admit that I was personally almost lured into this but later got wiser and changed my mind.
I thank God that I sought advice first before spending a dime on them. I then made it my goal to alert as many people as possible about it so that people would avoid getting conned. This involved sending a quick forum post and a subsequent email to my FreelancerKenya mailing list warning people to be careful about the Bullish Trade scam.
Less than one week after I sent a warning forum post and scam alert email to my subscribers, the site went down. The lucky few that I had gotten through to had either withdrawn their cash or decided not to invest in Bullish Trade and any other HYIP altogether.
What Happened to Bullish Trade?
The site bullishtrade.com went offline in the beginning of February. All who had invested in the site can no longer log in and access their accounts. Some people are said to have borrowed as much as Sh. 500,000 to Sh. 1,000,000 to invest in this potentially lucrative HYIP.
What is a HYIP
HYIP is short for High-Yield Investment Program. This is actually an investment scam that promises abnormally high returns within an abnormally short time. Most of them pay old investors with the money invested by new investors.
They thrive on secrecy, therefore no one ever knows how they invest their cash. Even though most online HYIPs claim to be making money through online forex trading, there is usually no evidence to back up this claim. Therefore, no one knows whether they are funding drug-dealers, corrupt politicians or crooked businessmen.
Once the system rolls out and people start investing, a point comes when it grows to an unsustainable level. The owners then lose their capability of paying off commissions to all investors and the whole structure collapses. Others just disappear once they raise the amount of money they were looking for.
In Kenya, many people lose their money in HYIPs and pyramid schemes every year. I always advice people to stay away from anything that promises abnormal positive results. To make good cash, you have to work smart and hard; there is no other way around that.
I credit most of my knowledge on HYIPs from Paula Thayrow of Kenya Money Online who warned me just before I joined one last year.
Why Was Bullish Trade so Popular?
As technology and intelligence develops, criminals also become brighter and get more creative ways of siphoning cash from the innocent.
Bullish Trade seemed like the big break for most people. Some of the benefits it gave included:
- 2-5% daily interest – The percentage you got depended on the amount you invested. Therefore, people could end up with more than double their initial investment in a mere 40 days. Of course just like all other HYIPs, the people who invested when it was starting actually got their 100-200% interest. This is always the bait for more people to join.
- Instant affiliate income – As a Bullish Trade affiliate, you would get an instant 10% referral reward whenever you’d refer someone new. This meant that if you’d invest their minimum 25 USD and then refer someone who invests 5000 USD, you would get an instant 500 USD that you could withdraw the next day. This meant that affiliate marketers could still earn big cash regardless of the fact that they signed up with a small principal amount.
- Daily withdrawals – Depending on the amount you would put in, you would be given the ability to withdraw your profits daily. The principal amount would mature in 40 days; but meanwhile you would withdraw your daily 2-5% profit. Therefore, if you invested Sh. 50,000, you could withdraw Sh. 2000 daily from their agents in town.
- Credible users – Most of the people I have talked to were referred to Bullish Trade by people from their churches or chamas; people who they trusted and respected.
Did Anyone Blow the Whistle on the Bullish Trade Scam?
Actually, many Kenyan bloggers and forum posters did.
In my personal research, I came across these the posts below that had some warnings in either the posts or comments:
1. Felix Okoli’s Make Money Kenya Blog featured the post Is Bullish Trade For Real?
2. PatKay wrote Is “Bullish Trade for Real in HubPages? `
3. I wrote Bullish Trade UK and Other High Yield Investment Programs in Wazua (username akowally)
4. I copied the above post to my mailing list of over 170 subscribers. You can join my mailing list whenever you see the mailing list invite on my sidebar or as a popover in my site. I turn this feature on and off. If you chose to join, you’ll be receiving my scam alerts among other emails about what’s happening on the ground in Kenya.
Will the Bullish Trade Website Resurface?
I doubt. If you read this Wikipedia post on High Yield Investment Programs, you’ll realize that most of them disappear and disappear for good.
Any Other Recent and Ongoing Scams?
JustBeenPaid was a “secret” HYIP that was very popular with Kenyans in 2012. I almost joined until I was warned by Paula Thayrow, one of my favorite Kenyan bloggers. It was later acquired by ProfitClicking which is not a site where people make money when they sleep.
ProfitClicking is also fast becoming famous with Kenyans though I wouldn’t advise anyone to join it. There are online complaints about their management not being straight.
Kenyans lost 7 billion in Mizpah, a school fees loan scheme.
We all remember DECI which operated for more than 3 years in Kenya, benefitting initial investors then becoming a nightmare when it finally collapsed with billions of shillings.
Conmen and scammers come in all shapes and sizes. There are those who do cheap and obvious stunts and get caught quick. Others come up with cleverly crafted techniques that look totally legit. These are the dangerous ones who end up disappearing with peoples’ millions.
One strange observation is that most of these cleverly orchestrated scams happen close to election time. Be careful where you invest, whether you are making money online or offline. I plead with you to stay away from any form of HYIP, Ponzi or pyramid scheme.
Feel free to join my mailing list whenever it’s turned on so that you can be receiving real time scam alerts. In case it’s off, just send me an email at email@example.com requesting to join and I’ll invite you when I put the list back on.