Karachi [Pakistan], December 6 (ANI): A Karachi-based social media influencer and businesswoman allegedly robbed around Rs 420 million from hundreds of Pakistani people, primarily women through a Ponzi scheme.
According to Dawn, the Karachi-based social media influencer and businesswoman, Sidra Humaid, ran a monthly ballot committee system, an old-age method of polling money commonly known as committees -- without keeping any written records of depositors/contributors ending the whole scheme in total fraud.
Humaid, the owner of the 'Daily Bites', allegedly defrauded hundreds of her depositors on her social media platform. Taking to her social media account, Humaid said that she had "no means to pay off her committees" to around 200 contributors leaving them in utter shock and disbelief.
Since last week, social media has been abuzz with stories of victims of what many described as a Ponzi scheme. Many victims reached out to each other and formed WhatsApp groups to take action against Humaid, Dawn reported.
However, it appears that no one had approached the police or the Federal Investigation Agency to register the case against Humaid so far in a bid to resolve the issue on their own.
On her part, Ms Humaid, whose whereabouts are not known, posted on social media: "Please guys don't panic. Your money will be returned in the coming months."
One of the victims told Dawn that Humaid had pulled off the 'scam' of around Rs 150m to Rs 200m.
Sana Adnan, who lost Rs 150,000, said most people knew Humaid for the past seven to 10 years. "I joined two of her Committees. I was paying her Rs 50,000 per month in one committee while in a 20-month committee, I was paying Rs 25,000," Dawn quoted her as saying.
"Under the conventional system, each month, one member of the committee is paid the total amount. But, we found out that every month some 'ghost' member or someone in 'her family' is paid the total amount while we, all the members, kept paying the monthly committee throughout all months. It turned out that all the money was actually going to Ms Humaid herself," she added.
There were other victims who also claimed that they had lost a huge sum of money. One of them said that he had a conversation with Humaid's father. "Her father said they will only return the amount which was transacted in her account...but the thing is we used to send money directly into the account of the person who had a slot in that particular month at her behest," the victim added, according to Dawn. (ANI)