Tamil refugee Mohan felt he was able to trust an app that promised to grow his money after he was able to withdraw the interest from the first $50 he’d invested.

About a month later, he was $1,000 out of pocket and many others in Sydney’s Tamil community had lost thousands more.

“I’m very depressed having lost the money,” Mohan said.

“Some borrowed money in order to invest.” 

The Hope Business scam was a Ponzi scheme that ran earlier this year.

Promoted on Facebook in the Tamil language, it drew in dozens of refugees like Mohan,  inviting them to download an app to invest money and promising them a handsome return.

“There were two young girls involved and they approached me in Tamil,” Mohan said.

“I asked them again and again if we had to pay tax on this and how it works and they said it’s all covered, don’t worry about it.”

Mohan was told he could earn commissions by getting his friends in the Tamil community to sign up.

At the same time, Hope Business was harvesting his social media contacts to tout for more business.

“They said if you entice people into this app then you get bonuses, but through my friends’ list they’d already contacted a lot of people.”

His suspicions were first raised when he saw a video on YouTube about the scam.

But by the time…

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