Amazon Web Worker Kenya was a ponzi and one of the biggest scam that recently sunk with Billions of shillings from Kenyans.
The scam promised a lucrative profit after one had invested in with a promise of returns of up to 38 percent within seven days. Although the scheme carried the name Amazon, it is not in any way associated with Amazon. Daily Press understands that all Mobile apps associated with Amazon are under the Amazon Mobile LLC.
Just like Public likes that vanished with billions of shillings from Kenyans, Amazon Web Worker adapted a similar model where one had to subscribe to a certain package and invite friends with a promise of earning big from your referrals.
Our findings from social media pages from victims who had lost their hard earned cash to the scheme indicate that many had invested mainly between Sh. 10,000 and Sh. 300,000.
“One person had invested Sh. 10,000 while another put in Sh. 50,000 and others depositing up to Sh. 300,000 in the app,” one report said.
Just like Public Likes that went down in 2018,the amount of investment varied with the subscription packages on offer. People who signed up could earn by completing tasks as well as referring others to the platform.
Thousands of Kenyans had already opened account with the Amazon Web Worker app and started referring friends and family members to join in.
A spot check on the App before it was deleted from the Google Play store reveals that over 100,000 people had downloaded the app.
So, how do Ponzis work?
Ponzis works on a model of referrals that involves individuals making subscriptions and inviting others to form a network through referrals. While many pause as Online Jobs requiring subscribers to complete simple tasks, the overall goal of these schemes is to attract many people through the quick cash beit.
With many Kenyans yearning for quick cash, many end up victims of such schemes that promise huge returns with no actual definition on how they generate sustainable revenue.
The lucky first subscribers who tend to generate more referrals end up to be the biggest winners while the larger majority who join later end up as victims incurring huge losses.
Tales of victims who have lost their money through the scheme are now flooded with many calling for authorities to intervene. Here are sample of some victims who are counting losses.
“My Sh. 21,000 is gone. I joined after taking a loan and subscribed to level 5. I have lost all my money and I do not know where to begin,” a victim said.
“I put in Sh. 50,000 and I had registered all the family members including my parents who are now on my neck on where their money went,” another victim lamented.
“Amazon Web Worker… I didn’t even know there was such a thing. A friend who invested in it wanted to tell me after she makes millions. She “invested” 254,500 shillings. Now that the cash is gone (took a loan from a Chama), now wants to know how to “take legal action”. Another social media user wrote
“I warned many people about Amazon Web Worker. It was a ponzi scheme just like Public likes but Kenyans are very difficult people. They even make you look like the enemy for telling them the truth. In fact, a pal got angry cause I told them I can’t join. Ati sipromote hustle yake.” Bravin Yuri wrote.
A number of such Ponzis have become a common phenomenon on the Kenyan market thanks to easy and quicker mobile payment platforms like Mpesa. AIM Global, Cash 24 and Bold Chaser are some of Ponzis that have seen a number of high signup in the recent past
How Online Advertising Works
With many apps emerging with promises to yield more profit to the investors through referral subscriptions and advertisement, most Kenyans have no idea how online advertising ecosystem works.
Google which runs the largest advertising ecosystem in the world has the best payment rates but has never paid even close to a quarter of what these ponzi schemes pay.
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Publishers who participate in Adsense Advertisement network make between $1-$2 dollars per 1000 pageviews. This also highly depend on the amount advertisers are willing to pay in the Ad space bidding market. The revenue generated will also depend on the number of people that click on the ads.
Any advertising model that promises to pay way more than what Google pays should be approached with absolute caution.