Investor alert: ‘Split games’ – a type of pyramid scheme

THE British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) is warning the public about schemes selling virtual “shares” that supposedly increase in value as more buyers are recruited.

The virtual shares in these “split games” have been marketed and sold primarily in the Lower Mainland’s Chinese community by B.C.-based promoters of FullCarry (formerly known as Furuida Global or FRD Global) and International Money Tree (IMT).

The virtual shares are apparently not backed by any underlying asset, and can only be bought and sold on an online portal specific to each game. The organizers claim that rising demand will drive up the price of their shares, which supposedly never lose their overall value. When the price hits a certain threshold, the shares split – perhaps doubling or tripling in number and returning to their original price.

The repeating cycle of rising demand and share-splitting is touted to be the key to a lucrative income. The organizers, however, limit how many shares users can convert to conventional currency, and charge a 10 per cent transaction fee for selling them.

The organizers focus on recruiting more participants by giving buyers bonuses for each additional person they and their recruits bring into the game. The BCSC is concerned that these “split games” are operating as pyramid schemes – a business model in which payouts depend on the recruitment of new investors.

“Whenever someone promises high returns with little or no risk, that’s a warning sign,” said Doug Muir, the BCSC’s Director of Enforcement. “These split games, like other pyramid schemes, depend on more and more people buying in. You could easily lose your entire investment.”

B.C.-based promoters of FullCarry, which purports to be incorporated in the British Virgin Islands and based in Dubai, have held meetings in Vancouver and Richmond, and operate a private WeChat group. IMT purports to be headquartered and operated in Singapore.

The games being promoted in B.C. are similar to online investment schemes that have surfaced in China and Malaysia. The organizers of one such scheme have been sanctioned by Malaysian authorities for issuing unauthorized payment instruments.

The BCSC urges anyone who has any information about a split game, or is approached to invest in one, to contact the BCSC  Inquiries line  at 604-899-6854 or 1-800-373-6393 or to file a complaint online . The BCSC first learned of these schemes through its online complaint form.

For information on how to become better informed about investment products and services, please visit InvestRight at www.investright.org.

Chinese version:

投資者警示 : “拆分盘”,一种金字塔式经营计策   

溫哥華 –卑斯省證監會(BCSC) 向公众發出售卖虚拟股币的警告,这些股币的价值被指会随着招揽越多买家而越高。

这些 “ 拆分盘 ” 内的虚拟 股币由富汇嘉瑞 (FullCarry) , 前身为富瑞达 (Furuida Global)  或 FRD Global , 及国际金钱树拆分盘 (International Money Tree 或 IMT) 在 卑斯省的推介人主要 在低陆平原的华人社区推销及售卖。

虚拟 股币明显没有任何资产支持 其价值。它们只可以在个别游戏指定的网上门户买卖。组织者称需求上升会令 其股 价上升。这些 股币 被指 永远不会失去其总体的 价值。当价格达到某一水平, 股币便 拆分 – 数目可能是双倍或者三倍并返回它们原本的价格。

需求上升和 股币 拆分的重复周期被奉为可观收入的关键。但组织者限制用家可以把 股币 转换成传统货币的数目,及收取卖 股币 百分之十 的交易费。

买家每带一人及其招募的人带人进游戏都会获得奖励。组织者利用此方法重点招募更多的参与者。 BCSC 关注这些 “ 拆分盘 ” 以金字塔式经营计策 – 依靠招募新的投资者来维持付款的商业模式。

BCSC 執法部總監 Doug Muir 表示, “ 承诺高回报及低风险或没风险正是警号。这些拆分盘 ,正如其他金字塔式经营计策,依靠更多更多的人买进。你随时可能失掉所有的投资。 ”

富汇嘉瑞 声称公司在英属处女岛成立及建基杜拜,其 卑斯 省的推介人有在温哥华及烈治文举行集会及经营一私人微信群组。 IMT 声称总部及经营都在新加坡。

在卑斯省推广的游戏跟在中国及马来西亚出现的网上投资 计策类似。其中一个此类计策的组织者被马来西亚的執法 机构以发出没受权的付款工具而制裁。

BCSC鼓励任何人士有任何与拆分盘有关的信息或被要求作出投资的人士联络BCSC查询电话604-899-6854 or 1-800-373-6393,或上网投诉。BCSC是从网上投诉书中首次知识这些计策。

InvestRight 有如何更了解投资产品及服务 的信息 ,请浏览 www.investright.org 

关于卑斯省证监会 www.bcsc.bc.ca )

卑斯省证监会是独立的省政府机构,负责通过执行证券法管理卑斯省内的资本市场。我们的任务是保护和推广公众的利益,促进 :

  •  一个公平和值得公众信赖的证券市场
  •  一个能够提供投资机会和融资的活跃和具竞争力的证券行业

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