10 Ponzi Schemes That Crashed In Nigeria

The Nigerian Ponzi scheme is not a new phenomenon. Nigerians usually fall for these sites, lured by the promise of quick money. In most cases, they start out as legitimate investment platforms but later turn into scam sites after getting enough investors and promising them huge returns on their investments.

In this article, we will look at the 10 Ponzi schemes and investment platforms that have crashed in Nigeria over the years.


MMM Nigeria is one of the most famous Ponzi schemes in Nigeria. MMM Nigeria is a Russian-based Ponzi scheme that began in 1989 and has been operational for over 30 years now. In addition to Russia, it also has operations in other countries including South Africa, India, and China among others.

The platform gained massive popularity around 2016 when it promised 30% monthly returns on investments. By November 2016, there were at least 3 million Nigerians involved with MMM Nigeria with an estimated N1 trillion invested by investors into the platform. 

However. when things started going downhill for them after some months of operation (which we will discuss later), their website crashed because they had millions of people trying to log in at once!

Ultimate Cycler

Ultimate Cycler is the latest Ponzi scheme that crashed in Nigeria. It claims to be an investment platform that generates returns on cryptocurrency from smart contracts and other blockchain technologies.

The company claims that you can earn up to 7% daily through its smart contracts, and it has invested in various companies to help create those smart contracts.

It also says that it's backed by a "blockchain development company," which will use your investment money to develop these new technologies so they can be used for investments, profits, and more. According to the Ultimate Cycler website:

  • “We have made significant investments into companies such as Ethereum(ETH) and Ripple(XRP). These are two of the most popular cryptocurrencies currently used on their respective platforms."
  • "Our group has additionally partnered with different Blockchain Development Companies (BTC-LN) and we're running collectively closer to growing greater Smart Contracts primarily based totally solutions.
  • "We presently manipulate over 50 one-of-a-kind varieties of Cryptocurrencies which includes Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Stellar Lumens (XLM), Cardano (ADA), EOS etc..."


Twinkas was an online investment platform that crashed in 2017. The company promised investors up to 200% returns on their investments, with a return period of six months. Investors could earn from the platform by making a minimum investment of N5,000 ($17).

The company claimed to possess an algorithm that would help its clients increase their capital at least by 100%.

The Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission warned against investing in Twinkas because it did not have any license or authorization to operate a financial business in Nigeria. In addition, none of its designated representatives appeared before the commission when summoned during investigations into the matter.


Zarfund is a Ponzi scheme that shut down in April 2018. It allowed members to make money by paying a subscription fee, recruiting two new members and getting paid when those new recruits recruited two more members of their own.

Zarfund was started by Hannes Jordaan, who was arrested for operating the scam in South Africa. The scheme then moved to Nigeria where it took off quickly before its collapse in April 2018.

The pyramid scheme is estimated to have affected thousands of Nigerians who lost money investing with Zarfund.


Paycycler was an online platform that allowed investors to earn money by referring other investors. The company crashed in the middle of April 2017, owing investors N2.5 billion. The founder, Mr. Chinedu John, was arrested by the EFCC in April 2017 and has since been released on bail after paying N1 million as surety.

The company promised to pay dividends on weekly basis but did not fulfill its promise as it stopped paying its members’ claims for months before going offline for good.


Paidbest, a Ponzi scheme launched in 2018 and went offline in mid-2019. The site was created by an individual who claimed to be a Nigerian man. He promised investors that he would pay them back at least 100% of their initial investment within the first week of joining the platform.

The platform had over 300 members when it crashed and all their money was lost.


Surecash was founded in 2012 and claims to be a financial services platform that helps people save money, invest and make money online.

According to the company’s website, Surecash is owned by a man named Ugochukwu Amadi.

Unaico/S-owners club

Unaico was a Ponzi scheme that was launched in 2015. Opeyemi Adetunji, a Nigerian businessman, used the platform to promise investors 150% returns on their investments.

On its website, Unaico claimed to be “the only global investment club” with members from over 50 countries. Users were promised an opportunity for income generation through the program's cryptocurrency mining operation and trading system.

In addition to these benefits, users could also earn commission by referring others to join the program or by buying into one of its many partner companies (including EOS blockchain).

However, Unaico's claims were not backed up by any reputable evidence or third-party audits—and things soon went downhill when it became clear that this company was indeed running a Ponzi scheme rather than offering legitimate investments or services.

After shutting down in 2016 due to government intervention, Unaico was forced into liquidation under British law; however there are still many people who lost money investing with it because they didn't know where else they could turn for help at that time - so if you're thinking about signing up with any kind of online investment platform then make sure you do plenty of research first!


Crowdrise was a Ponzi scheme that allowed investors to invest as little as $5 and earn as high as $40,000 in return. It was introduced in 2016 and shut down in 2017.

The founder of Crowdrise was charged to court for fraud.

Makemoneyonline Members Nigeria (MMM Nigeria)

MMM Nigeria was a Ponzi scheme that promised 30% monthly return on investment, and had more than 3 million members in Nigeria.

MMM was founded by Sergey Mavrodi and launched in Russia in 1989. It had previously collapsed in 1994, but started up again in February 2016 as MMM Global with the tagline ‘Growth is just around the corner! Join the movement.

MMM Global later rebranded itself as MMM Global Foundation, claiming to be an organization that received donations from its members and redistributed them among other members based on various principles such as contribution history, neediness, and business experience.


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