Money – It is a great power. It can bring an enormous amount of good in this world if we use it properly and view it properly. Problems start when we become obsessed with it or horde it or become greedy about it. A couple of recent experiences prompted me to write this blog. The intention of writing this blog is to create an awareness about a financial scam so that no one loses their hard-earned money.

In 2017, one fine day, a very good friend of my husband called. Let’s call him Alex(name changed to protect privacy). He calls my husband regularly, and he has been a very close friend for years. My husband trusts this person. On this day, this friend started asking questions like – “Are you looking for an alternate career? How many years will you work in IT?”. And he said he is into a great business which is giving him fabulous returns. My husband was impressed.

This friend also suggested my husband to involve me too as we both can work together and create a great alternate career. My husband discussed this with me. In 2017, I was not very happy with my IT career. My husband was also not so happy. And we both want to retire from IT as soon as possible. So, we both thought this could be an alternate career for us. Just to be sure, I asked Alex if this is any MLM(Multi-Level Marketing) scheme. He said no. I felt relieved that it’s not MLM.

Then we both asked him what business is this. Alex said his senior would get in touch with us and explain everything. He said this senior is super busy, and it’s a great favor to us that he wants to meet us. Oh, we were impressed. The meeting was in a star hotel.

While we were waiting to meet this senior along with Alex, another senior came in, and he started praising this senior whom we are going to meet. He said how lucky we are that we are going to meet him. He also gave various suggestions on how we should behave. I felt I am going to meet a very extraordinary person.

The person came in. He spoke for an hour on the business plan. He asked us about our goals and jobs. When we asked him about the company’s name, he said they cannot reveal it as it’s against the policy. He told us so many things in 1 hour. Below are some things he told us about the business.

1. There are many people from IIT’s’s and IIM’s’s who quit their careers and are pursuing this field.
2. It is not MLM.
3. It is fully approved by the Government.
4. It is all white money, and TDS is deducted before profits are paid to us.
5. It needs 2 hours of time per day.
6. We can be assured that profits will start coming in from the first month.
7. It is an e-commerce business.

We asked him whats the name of the business. He said he could reveal it only to committed people and that too only after investing money. He asked us to be ready with the investment(it’s in lakhs) in a couple of days. He also said he carefully chose us because of our friend’s recommendation and we should be happy that we are chosen. Saying this, he left. Funny thing was in that 5-star hotel; we only drank a glass of water. No orders were placed. No bills paid. How smart!

Now, if we had any common sense, we should be alarmed when this guy does not reveal the company’s name. But there comes our trusted friend Alex. He says he entered into this business and his life changed after that. Below are some claims made by Alex.

1. He took a loan to invest in this business.
2. EMI is covered through monthly profits. He need not pay EMI from his salary.
3. He made huge profits in just six months.
4. Some of his friends too joined, and they are also benefited.
5. We are super lucky that this senior spoke to us about business.
6. His lifestyle changed.

The timeline given to us was to invest in one week. My husband and I were puzzled about what to do. Business looked promising. We have our trusted friend, who is a very nice person. We know him for nine years, and he is not someone who would cheat us. We can easily get loans because of our IT background. We are also looking for an alternate career. Our friend guarantees that we can make a good amount of money. So, what to do now?

Because of all the systematic brainwashing that happened and our frustration with IT, we did not think the company’s name is a big deal. We were ready to take a loan and invest money.

But in 2017, my husband and I were struggling to balance our IT careers with our passion for Spirituality. We were just married for a year, and it was all a bit overwhelming. Time was a constraint. On top of it, my husband had night shifts. After thinking for five long days, we decided not to go ahead with this business as we felt our priority is IT job and Spirituality. If my husband did not have night shifts or if we were not passionate about Spirituality, we would have managed it somehow.

We informed Alex that we cannot invest now, but we will rethink in the future when my husband’s night shifts change. Alex was fine with our decision, and our friendship continued. My husband’s night shifts continued for years, and we never spoke to Alex regarding this.

Two years passed by. One afternoon, I was pretty bored in my office due to a lack of work, and I was reading a newspaper in the breakout area. There, I saw a news that police arrested some people in Hyderabad related to a financial scam. It was in a small corner in that big newspaper. The name of the company is mentioned. It is a networking scam where one person joins and brings in others. My intuition said this might be the same business that our friend told us about in 2017. Our friend never told us about the company’s name. So, I did not have a way to confirm.

I googled about this company which was cracked down by the police. I read extensively about it and I found clues. There were ten posts on google which talked about how these company representatives trap people. It’s in the same pattern as Alex did it with us. Below is the pattern.

1. A trusted friend will approach us.
2. Company’s Company’s name will not be mentioned under any circumstances.
3. Senior will be too hyped.
4. Meetings will happen in posh places.
5. They will talk about alternate career.
6.IT folks are their main target as this set of people can easily get loans.
7. They will claim its not MLM.
8. They will promise us good profits.

When I read these posts about this company, I was shocked that its a well-executed scam. It took me a while to accept that we were just one step away from being cheated in 2017. I thanked our Guru for coming into our lives and saving us from this scam. I thanked my husband’s night shifts. If we both were not passionate about Spirituality, and my husband did not have night shifts, we would have invested money in lakhs and lost the money. Money loss is one thing, and another big problem in this business is an MLM business. We need to trap others like how Alex trapped us(Alex would have been heavily brainwashed by the company and would have never realized he is cheating us. He is basically a very nice guy). Unknowingly, we would have cheated others and generated heavy negative karma. We were saved by divine grace.

I never wanted to write a blog about this. But just a month back, another good and trusted friend of my husband called and started talking about an alternate career. Discussion went in the same pattern as we had with Alex. And this time, my husband knew its a scam. He said he already has an alternate career and it is Spirituality. And yesterday, another good friend of mine called me and started talking in the same way.

I am surprised that this scam is still going on in 2020 in spite of police crackdown. So, I felt I should bring an awareness about this scam. This is an MLM business where people go on cheating others. It’s a systematic brainwash based on the principles of human psychology(gist: human mind needs more money in less time with less work) and it is very easy to get trapped.

So, if anyone asks you about an alternate career and never reveals the name of the business, run away if you want your money to be safe. If they reveal the name of the business, please research it for months before you invest your hard-earned money. And if anyone promises you quick profits like 30% or more on your investment in a short time like 3 to 6 months without any hard work or smart work from you, take it as a big joke and laugh out loud.

Thank you Guru for everything. We questioned you several times why night shifts and wondered why our spiritual practices are not solving this problem. Now we got our answer. We were gullible and foolish to trust in businesses which don’t reveal their name. You protected us by sending night shifts. Thank you for everything.

Sarve Jana Sukhino Bhavanthu!

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Geethanjali Varanasi

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