E-Creator Founder Vanishes With Millions Of USD
8 July 2023
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THE founder of an online Ponzi scheme, E-Creator, has left his clients seething with anger after duping them of large sums of money before vanishing.

In a statement issued to clients yesterday, E-Creator said the company’s founder Zhao Jiaotong, had fled the country with their savings.

“Due to his departure, E-creator was forced to close. He has more than US$1 million on him. If you find him at the airport or on the border road, you will get back the money you lost. Let us all find him and get back the money that belongs to us,” the company’s employees said.

Jiaotong later posted on Twitter saying he was now in Beijing, China.

Prior to the heist, E-Creator members had struggled to withdraw their funds with the company attributing the setback to alleged upgrades on the EcoCash Merchant platform.

E-Creator was registered as a limited liability company in Zimbabwe, displaying a certificate of incorporation on its website.

The company was registered on February 7, 2023.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi yesterday said he was still gathering information on the matter.

Under the scheme, for one to become a VIP 1 employee for E-Creator, they are supposed to pay US$15 with a promise of a US$50 dividend.

A VIP 2 employee required a minimum of US$100 and a maximum recharge of US$500 while VIP 3 employees needed a minimum of US$500 to get US$2 000.

To upgrade an account, it was mandatory that one had to invite a certain number of people to join the e-company.

A ponzi scheme is an investment fraud that pays existing investors with funds collected from new investors.

In many ponzi schemes, the fraudsters do not invest the money, leaving their clients counting losses. Commentator, Effie Ncube, said poverty was driving Zimbabweans into get-rich-quick schemes, in the process exposing themselves to scammers.

“Poverty, hunger and unemployment are collectively undermining people’s due diligence,” Ncube said.

“Instead of them double checking advertised quick riches they just fall for them and this will continue to be the case until the economic crisis is addressed.”

This is not the first time that Zimbabweans have been duped in ponzi schemes. In 2021, at least 10 000 citizens lost a total of US$30 million after “investing” large sums of money in pyramid schemes, which later collapsed.

According to police, some families sold their houses, vehicles and other valuable property to invest in pyramid schemes run by scammers, mostly through social media platforms, especially WhatsApp groups.

Police have in the past warned against such dubious investments.