WhatsApp-based Investment scam leaves hundreds of Zimbos counting loses

It’s no secret that high unemployment and the dwindling of incomes is urging Zimbabweans to grab every ‘opportunity’ to earn some quick buck that comes their way. However, many of those ‘opportunities’ are usually scams that swindle money out of them.

Year after year these scams come and go in different shapes and sizes but desperate Zimbabweans seemingly don’t learn anything as they keep on sinking their money in those scams.

Recently an investment scam made waves on WhatsApp and,in no time, whisked away with thousands of Zimbabwe dollars of hundreds of people. The scam called Day Finance promised unbelievable rewards in a matter of days upon depositing/investing ZW$1000.

How Day Finance work

Day Financed operated through WhatsApp where people were added to a WhatsApp group upon investing the required amount. At first the minimum amount to invest was ZWL$500 and then it increased to ZWL$1000.

The person who wanted to join the investment scam had to send that money to a EcoCash wallet. They would proceed to fill out a supposedly “investment form” and ultimately get added to the WhatsApp group. The investment form is shown below.

The “investor” would then have to wait for the 3 days or 5 days to get paid depending on their ‘ investment plan’. Under the 3 day investment plan, Day Finance promised a 50% return, the 5 day plan promised a 100% return and the 10 day plan promised a 250% return. For instance, if a person invested ZWL $1000 under the 3 day plan they would get a total of ZWL $1500 in 3 days (ZWL $500 profit). And under the 5 day investment plan they would get ZWL $2000 in 5 days (ZWL $1000 profit).

How people were conned

According to some of the investors, the scam started as recent as 3 weeks and they received their money without any hiccups. As word spread about the juicy returns of the scam, more people joined the bandwagon.

Then last week on Thursday, Day Finance suddenly introduced a premium plan which required interested investors to invest ZWL $3000 and get a 200% return in just 4 days. This ‘investment plan’ no doubt attracted new investors or urged existing investors to commit more money.

However, with the benefit of hindsight the new investment plan seemed to have been a signal that the scammers were hoarding investor’s money for the last time.

Two days after the new investment plan, Day Finance suddenly closed, sending hundreds of investors into frenzy. The admin of the group posted an unrepentant message in one of the WhatsApp groups saying he had “lost all trades”.

The aftermath

Upon receiving that message, the investors tried to contact the Day Finance team the rest of Saturday to no avail. Then in the middle of the night, the investors were removed from the Day Finance WhatsApp group. Furthermore, the people behind Day Finance deleted their WhatsApp accounts, leaving investors with nowhere to make inquiries about their money.

The early morning of Sunday, investors who were kicked out of the Day Finance WhatsApp group formed their own WhatsApp group to put heads together and come up with a plan to retrieve their money.

Since Sunday, investors some of the investors are reportedly reporting the scam to several police stations. As of today, there seem to be no docket that has been opened for the case

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