If you know the structure of a Pyramid Scheme it is easier for you to avoid it.
Here is a good definition of a Pyramid scheme.
“A Pyramid Scheme is an unsustainable business model that involves promising participant’s payment or service, primarily for enrolling other people into the scheme, rather than supplying real investment or sale of products or services.”
One of this schemes is called Give and Take or Key to a Fortune caused £ 19m loss to a number of people.
Eleven women, aged 34 to 69 became the first in the UK to be prosecuted under new legislation in the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Act 2008. Nine of them have been found guilty of stealing money from at least 10.000 victims.
The Scam spread from Bath to Bristol to the West Country and Wales in 2008 and 2009. The victims were encouraged to “beg, borrow or steal” the £ 3.000 needed to invest in the scam. The victims was told they would receive a £ 24.000 pay out when they reached the top of their pyramid chart and promised they would not lose.
The pyramid charts had 15 spaces. Each space was filled with a participant who paid £ 3.000 and introduced two friends, who also paid the amount.
Ones the chart was filled, the eight people at the bottom of the chart paid their £ 3.000 to the person on the top, called the “Bride”
And like any other pyramid scheme the flow of new members dry up and the leaders continue to accept money knowing there is little or no chance of the scheme paying out.
The ones at the top of the Pyramid pocketed up to £ 92.000 each, while 88% of their victims lost between £ 3.000 and £ 15.000
The Give and Take or Key to the Fortune was kept secret as members were forbidden from writing about it to protect the organisers but was uncovered when a person in Bristol complained to UK trading standards that it was promotes in his workplace.
Please do not hesitate to leave a question or comment below.