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Pyramid Schemes: Watch Out!

By Will from Holland

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Get this scenario: you, a college student who has discovered the luxury of 10 Ramen Noodle cups for only a buck, are approached by a young man dressed-for-success at the local JCrew.

He begins by asking you questions like where you go to school, what you're studying and what do you want to do with your life. He then tells you a little bit about himself—he says he's an entrepreneur who's been quite successful and would like you to come in for a meeting to see if you could become "one of them."

You decide a meeting couldn't hurt.

At their new office with convertibles outside, the guy interviews you and, "due to your great earning potential," would like to offer you the job.

So what's the job? It's easy, you just get 5 of your "qualified" friends in for an interview and, if they're hired, you'll get a cut of the profits from their work. Sounds great, but where's all the money coming from?

Well there's just one thing—you'll need to pay $400 to attend some training sessions and to get your "license" before you can start making the big bucks...

But wait a minute... If he promises you're going make a lot of money soon, then why doesn't he take that $400 out of your paycheck?

Bingo, there's your clue...

You were about to fall for a pyramid scheme. You invest money in a fictional product or service, and get other people to do the same. Unfortunately, there's no real product and the business itself is unsustainable with the last "suckers" in the pyramid ending up empty handed... Unfortunately, that can be you...

Here's some clues how to recognize a pyramid scam:

  • Smooth talking salesperson.
  • Great potential earnings, for minimal work.
  • You pay.
  • Vague descriptions of the product and or service.

Be skeptical—if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. Be smart and ask the right questions!