بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم
A few months ago, I was contacted regarding the ACN investment scheme. At the time, my advice was to stay away from such lucrative pyramid (also known as MLM) schemes and instead focus on earning a Ḥalāl income. Several colleagues contacted me at the time attempting to persuade me that ACN is a legitimate and Halal investment scheme. However, they failed to provide some basic answers regarding the existence of the company and were unable to substantiate its credibility. This is in addition to the fact that certain terms were not compatible with Islamic rules as highlighted by several respected scholars.
Over the past two weeks, I have been contacted regarding another scheme known as the TrafficMonsoon scheme. It is apparently a specialised advertising and revenue sharing company that allows international participation of individuals and groups. As soon as I heard the details and researched the scheme, I recollected the existence of a similar scheme known as Banners Brokers not too long ago. When Banners Brokers became prevalent a few years ago, I advised colleagues to refrain from this scheme. This was because it was apparent and obvious to me that it was a fraudulent scheme. Unfortunately, many colleagues participated in the scheme and advised others to do so. It is often the case that we focus on the technical and apparent structure of the scheme without looking at the wider picture and using common sense. Sometimes, greed overtakes our intellect. One should always think twice if something is too good to be true. The Banners Brokers scheme, like all fraudulent schemes, provided a return on investment for a period of time. Later, as the confidence within the scheme strengthened, and people who were doubtful also joined, the payments stopped. It became clear to everyone that the scheme was fraudulent. Individuals at the top of the pyramid structure profiteered substantially whilst hundreds, if not thousands, of individuals lost out. One should always remember that any business concept that is founded on fraud and deception is impermissible, even though the apparent structure may appear to conform to Islamic principles.
Over the past two weeks, I have been informed that many individuals who were involved with the ACN scheme have left the ACN scheme and joined the TrafficMonsoon scheme. This, I am told, is because some complications have emerged within the ACN scheme. A number of meetings have and continue to occur in my home town Blackburn with many attendees. Attempts have also been made to recruit me.
My advice to those who are involved in the TrafficMonsoon scheme or are considering joining the scheme is to abstain. The scheme seems to be fraudulent similar to the Banners Brokers scheme. Whilst I cannot be certain about this, I can only advise caution. Many similar schemes have emerged over the years and people at the bottom of the chain have lost out. Islam teaches us to work hard and earn a Ḥalāl income. We should be careful before investing in high risk investments or lucrative pyramid schemes. In addition to this, I have reviewed the terms and conditions of the TrafficMonsoon scheme and can confirm that they do not comply with Islamic principles. For example, the Terms section on the website states, “If your account should go to inactive status (90 days with no logins), TrafficMonsoon will consider the account abandoned and will close it. All funds in the account will be forfeited and the balance zeroed. If you reopen this account the balance that was forfeited will not be credited back.” (https://trafficmonsoon.com/terms). This term clearly contravenes Islamic principles. As such, it is not permissible to participate in this scheme.
May Allah grant us all with Ḥalāl sustenance and protect us from Ḥarām and the doubtful.
Yusuf Shabbir, Blackburn
6 Dhū al-Ḥijjah 1436 / 19 September 2015