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How internet business fraud is arranged

How internet business fraud is arranged

Got Work to Do; Gen. Kale Kayihura has a plate-full of work to do in internet crime

In the struggle to make ends meet in the currently harsh economic environment, with advances in technology presenting online businesses, many Ugandans have jumped to the World Wide Web with the hope of securing economic liberation. The Police, however, are warning the public, especially business people, that not everything that glitters is gold.

This follows the arrest of 35-year-old Ronald Mulamuzi of Seguku in connection with fraud through internet networking businesses.

The Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Patrick Oyango said this week that Mulamuzi was behind several websites that had defrauded Ugandans who engage in internet networking businesses, including those that were offering online banking packages like world movers, Telexfree and Tasco, among others. These have been closed since May 7, 2014, leaving many people in tears.

Mulamuzi’s arrest followed complaints filed by over 250 people claiming to have lost millions of shillings through Mulamuzi’s websites.

How the fraud is arranged

A person falls prey when they are introduced to online business packages under these websites by another already subscribing to the network.  After being convinced by enticing adverts on the sites, promising them huge profits after a short period of time, a person is required to deposit a subscription fee in US dollars to a particular online bank account. The hopeful subscribers expect to earn their profits through electronic wallets (e-wallets) which many do not even understand how they operate.

The system has been designed with four categories called packages. With the Silver package you deposit USD 300 and earn USD 31per week for each share; Gold you deposit USD 1400 and earn USD 168 per week; Platinum you deposit USD 5400 to earn 729 dollars per week and Diamond, you deposit USD 25100 to earn USD 3600 per week.

“Several corporate youths have fallen victim. This is a very high level cyber crime fraud,” Oyango said.

Mulamuzi is suspected to have links with the United High Link, Massive arts.com and Vineyard, sites through which people have lost millions of dollars.

“People have invested between USD 200,000 and 350,000. We want to caution the public that not everything that glitters is gold. People who want to do business via the internet should do a thorough background check,” Onyango said.

Mulamuzi denied having committed any fraud as alleged saying the online business networks had existed before elsewhere and many had benefited from them even in Uganda.

“The allegations that I am defrauding people are not true because these are international companies.  I also joined like any other person and of course the principle of this business is that you have to enter under another person. The people who recruited me into this business are there,” Mulamuzi said.

“These are international bodies. There is nothing wrong to join a network. If MTN for example comes here and says please register for mobile money and win I do not think it is criminal. What I do not know is the legality of these companies,” Mulamuzi added.

Police says Mulamuzi’s file is still open and many more people are expected to file complaints against him.

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