Tips for Consumers: Pyramid Schemes May Be Returning
Tips for Consumers
Pyramid Schemes May Be Returning
Want to get rich quick? Want to earn thousands of dollars in just a few weeks or months? If so, then you may be a perfect target of the old "pyramid schemes" that may be returning all over the country. Years ago, folks throughout the Hagerstown area were cheated by promoters who promised quick, easy money by recruiting other investors into their big-profit schemes. The same rackets--dressed up in new names and slick promises--are returning.
A pyramid scheme is simply a program where consumers are brought in by paying money to people above them in the organization. But they are promised big profits by recruiting others into the company below them.
Most pyramid schemes begin when a friend or co-worker invites you to an "opportunity meeting" at someone's home or a local hall where you are asked to invest a few thousand dollars in a company he represents, buying some kind of product or service. It may be personal improvement tips, foreign money, Internet malls, vacation programs, gold coins or almost anything else. This brings you into the pyramid. Next, you need to recruit two or three others into the plan which moves you up the pyramid. As each of your recruits brings in others, and they recruit still others, YOU move higher and receive larger commissions. Sounds easy, doesn't it?
Sadly, pyramid schemes are a disaster for most participants. Those few lucky people who join at the beginning may make money; but very soon the rest of the participants find that they have run out of fresh prospects. It's impossible to overcome the fact that pyramid schemes always run out of people and collapse. Many of the folks YOU have recruited will lose their money and be angry with you for bringing them in. Participating in a pyramid scheme is also against the law; so you run the risk of being prosecuted in addition to making enemies of your friends.
This is not "multi-level" or "network marketing." Many quite legitimate firms sell by establishing multiple levels, but the emphasis should be on sale of their product, not recruiting others. (Sometimes, however, it's hard to tell.)
To file a complaint visit: www.baltimore.bbb.org or write: BBB, 1414 Key Highway, #100, Baltimore MD 21230. Their office serves Baltimore and all of Greater Maryland.