Pyramid scheme illegal

pyramid scheme illegal

Our topic for today is pyramid scheme illegal or not? The first question that comes to our mind is, what’s a pyramid scheme? A pyramid scheme is an illegal business model and an illicit venture trick dependent on various levels of system showcasing. The most well-known sort of fraudulent business model is, maybe, the pyramid scheme.

So what’s not a pyramid scheme?

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So what is a pyramid scheme?

Newcomers make up the base of the pyramid and give the financing, or alleged returns, as new cash expenses to the previous speculators/initiates organized above them in the plan. A fraudulent business model doesn’t, for the most part, include the selling of items.

Or maybe, it depends on the consistent inflow of cash from extra financial specialists that works its way to the head of the pyramid. This implies staggered showcasing plans are not delegated fraudulent business models and are not really deceitful.

What is a naked pyramid scheme?

It is a scheme where there is no product to be sold. It is solely based on new people joining the pyramid. The members lying on a higher level in the pyramid get an advantage over new members that join the pyramid. Here is how it goes.

An initial recruiter convinces ten other people to invest in a 100% guaranteed money-making success policy.  The ten new members pay the initial recruiter the amount, say $100. 

Now, these ten new members are supposed to bring in 100 more investors. This is the 3rd generation of investors.  As each investor from the second generation spends $100 and gets $1000 from the ten new members, he earns a good $900. 

Are Pyramid schemes illegal or legal?

Are pyramid scheme illegal or legal? Pyramid schemes are fraudulent businesses. They con you into investing your money into something that does not even exist. It is a network of investors that get benefitted when more members join them. The money from the new members goes to the old members’ pockets.

Getting involved in pyramid schemes is very risky. You might lose everything once you commit yourself to a pyramid scheme. It is a trap that uses your money to benefit those lying above you in the pyramid. The only way to earn through a pyramid is getting more and more people to join the pyramid.

pyramid scheme vs mlm

It is illegal to join a pyramid scheme or to ask others to join it. You should never get involved in the promotion of a pyramid scheme as it leaves nothing in your hand. You end up spending everything on a fraudulent business that has no foundation at all. 

How does pyramid scheme work?

An individual or an organization starts a fraudulent business model by enrolling speculators with a proposal of ensured exceptional yields. As the plan starts, the most punctual speculators do get a high pace of return, yet these additions are paid for by newcomers and are not a profit for any genuine venture.

From the second, the trick is started, a fraudulent business model’s liabilities start to surpass its benefits. The main way it can produce riches is by promising unprecedented comes back to newcomers; the main way these profits get installment is by getting extra financial specialists. Constantly, these plans lose steam and the pyramid breakdown.

Pyramid scheme examples

  1. eAdGear

eAdGear showcased itself out as an effective web advertising organization that could assist organizations with expanding their deceivability in list items (for example, Google, Bing). In actuality, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) claimed, eAdGear didn’t make an enormous benefit from this administration. Rather, the vast majority of the organization’s $300 million in income was produced using financial specialist commitments.

As per the SEC, eAdGear enlisted “Individuals” (speculators) by promising returns of as much as a “thousand dollars per day” or a yearly return of “$3.6 million.” One of the fundamental ways “Individuals” could procure this cash was to get new “Individuals.”

The SEC said that the main way eAdGear could pay financial specialists these guaranteed returns was using new financial specialists’ assets, an indication of a fraudulent business model.

  • Wealth Pools International

In December 2007, the SEC solidified the advantages of Wealth Pools International. Riches Pools professed to be an advertising organization selling English and Spanish language DVDs through a worldwide system of deals partners. New members bought a lot of DVDs, which they would then attempt to exchange for the benefit.

Nonetheless, members benefitted by selecting new deals partners, and not from DVD deals. The plan affected upwards of 70,000 individuals in 64 nations and cost members $132 million every 2007 alone.  Riches Pools is also included in pyramid scheme examples.

  • Big Co-op, Inc.

In April 2010, the proprietors of the Big Co-operation Inc. web shopping site were seen as liable for working a fraudulent business model in California. In this plan, members bought a “permit,” qualifying them for commissions when they sold Big Co-operation items to other people, including licenses to new members.  Huge Co-operation asserted that benefits were created by deals of Big Co-operation items and not from offering licenses to new members.

Be that as it may, practically all benefits made by the organization originated from selling licenses and from month to month duty paid by existing members. The plan cost more than 1,000 California inhabitants $8.2 million, and the authors each face as long as 20 years in prison. 

  • Elite Activity

In 2007, a government claims court in Texas affirmed a two-year sentence for Harvey Joseph Dockstader Jr. Dockstader worked a fraudulent business model called Elite Activity, which enlisted members to participate in a “pattern of bounty.” In the plan, members contributed an underlying financial “blessing” and were guaranteed generous benefits as they enrolled new members. 

How does the pyramid scheme work then collapse?

The whole strategy of the pyramid looks very simple, but it is not. As the pyramid grows bigger, it needs more and more members. When it grows sufficient enough, the target to make a huge number of new members gets very difficult. In the above case, there are 100 people required in order to benefit the ten above them.

In the next generation, they will require 1000 new members that would benefit the 100 members. Now, this is the point where the pyramid might collapse as it is very difficult to engage 1000 people to join such a chain. 

Pyramid scheme vs. MLM

Here we will make a pyramid scheme, MLM comparison. Read about pyramid scheme vs. MLM below:

pyramid scheme vs pozi scheme

Multi-level Marketing (MLM)or network marketing is people offering items to the general society – regularly by overhearing people’s conversations and direct deals. The primary thought behind the MLM technique is to advance the most extreme number of wholesalers for the item and exponentially increment the business power.

The advertisers get a commission on the offer of the item just as pay for deals their volunteers make in this manner, the remuneration plan in staggered showcasing is organized with the end goal that commission is paid to people at different levels when a solitary deal is made and commission relies upon the all-out volume of deals produced.

Pyramid Scheme illegal, fraudulent scheme – masked as an MLM methodology.

The distinction between a fraudulent pyramid scheme MLM business model and a legitimate MLM program is that there is no genuine item that is sold in a fraudulent business model. Members endeavor to bring in cash exclusively by enrolling new members into the program.

The sign of these plans is the guarantee of out of this world returns in a brief timeframe for doing nothing other than giving over your cash and getting others to do likewise.

Pyramid scheme vs. Ponzi scheme

Ponzi Schemes

Ponzi plans dependent on the fake venture the board administrations—essentially, financial specialists contribute cash to the “portfolio chief” who guarantees them an exceptional yield, and afterward, when those speculators need their cash back, they are paid out with the approaching assets contributed by later financial specialists.

The individual arranging this sort of extortion is responsible for controlling the whole activity; they only exchange assets starting with one customer then onto the next and do without any genuine speculation exercises.

The most famous Ponzi scheme in recent history—and the single largest fraud of investors in the United States—was orchestrated for more than a decade by Bernard Madoff, who defrauded investors in Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.

Madoff formed a huge network of investors that he raised funds from, pooling his almost 5,000 clients’ money into an account he withdrew from. He never actually invested the money, and once the financial crisis of 2008 took hold, he could no longer sustain the fraud.

Pyramid Schemes

are pyramid scheme illegal

What is a pyramid scheme? It is a chain of individuals that begins from one investor who recruits another one after him. The initial investors recruit a team of investors that follow them. This team is further followed by another team of investors, and the chain goes on. There is always a tempting product at the end of the pyramid.

Every investor throws in their money in the hope of getting access to that ‘reward’ or ‘profit’ they are being offered. In pyramid schemes, the reward might be a product that the investor gets to sell.

As the promised product is usually very tempting and valuable, investors perceive it to be very beneficial in the end. Also, the profits that an investor earns from selling the product need to be shared with the members of the pyramid at a higher level. 

The difference

The main difference when talking about the pyramid scheme vs. the Ponzi scheme is that the former is better protected. There are many legal teams behind them that deal with their legal issues in a very professional and clean manner.

The legal teams make them appear as a harmless business. Also, these teams are so powerful that they cannot compete with the legal advisor of an individual investor who files a charge against the pyramid scheme.

An example is Herbalife(HLF), a nutritional company. It was the most accused of pyramid business and paid out $200 million dollars. Therefore, pyramid schemes are not easy to figure out and prove wrong. Comparatively, Ponzi schemes are an easy target. They are not very well protected. 

Is Amway a pyramid scheme?

We all know and love the products that Amway sells. Have you ever wondered if Amway is a pyramid scheme? If so, you’ll be glad to learn that it’s not a scam. In fact, Amway offers many great benefits to both vendors and distributors. It provides a way to make money, get great discounts on products and services, and help your friends and family. That in itself is a great reason to sell Amway products.

If you have asked yourself questions like, “Amway a pyramid scheme?” and “How does Amway 1Amway make money?” the answers are not what you might expect. The scheme of a pyramid is an outdated concept for the company. In fact, its business model is MLM (multi-level-marketing). That doesn’t mean it’s a scam, though. When someone buys products directly from a store or online, they’re buying them from an independent distributor who has purchased them from the company to resell at a higher price.

Is amway a pyramid scheme

The great thing about MLM companies is that they offer people who are looking for extra income another way to make money by becoming distributors themselves and building their own sales team. This gives them stability while allowing them to work part-time or full-time in their own communities as they see fit. There are no restrictions on how many hours a distributor can work a week or how much they can earn in commissions.

Amway is not a pyramid scheme because distributors who make money are those who sell products. The more they sell, the more they make. The more people they recruit to join their team and share the same enthusiasm for the products, the better off they’ll be. This is really just an incentive to provide exceptional customer service by selling products that will help people lead healthier lives and achieve greater success in their careers.

If someone orders from Amway, though, there are two ways he can go about selling the products. He can either sell them at a profit to customers or sign up people who want to become distributors themselves. If he sells them at a profit, he’s essentially getting paid for his time in addition to being paid for the products and materials.

Amway is a company that’s trusted all over the world. If you aren’t currently using their products, you probably know someone who does. Just because a company offers a way for everyday people to cash in on things they routinely use doesn’t mean that it’s a scam. Sure, you have to buy products upfront, but it makes sense to do so for you to sell them. Amway comes from a time when people had to invest a little of their own money into products before selling them. In today’s world of affiliate marketing, this might seem a bit strange because no investment is needed to promote products. However, a company like Amway doesn’t want to absorb the costs associated with such marketing, and that’s why they make distributors buy their products before marketing them to the public. So as far as a pyramid scheme explained, Amway would not qualify.

Is Arbonne a pyramid scheme?

You may be on the fence about promoting Arbonne’s products. Arbonne sells vegan cruelty-free health, beauty, and nutritional products. So, is Arbonne a pyramid scheme? Not hardly. Arbonne isn’t a scam, and they allow people to make money by selling products that don’t harm animals or the environment. But Arbonne is not the best place to build wealth, but rather a place to make money. Arbonne isn’t a scam.

Arbonne 2Arbonne helps everyone sell their products online and get paid fairly for it. Why? Because the people running Arbonne are not greedy. People have different needs and want in life; The focus is on delivering high-quality vegan products that people can use without worrying about their health or their impact on the environment. Not only do vegans prefer these products, but the mainstream public has slowly been made aware of their quality. The people who were the most enthusiastic about Arbonne were vegans in the early days, but now it’s beginning to spread like wildfire.

Arbonne is not a pyramid scheme, and it is not a scam. To get to the bottom of Arbonne, we need to take a look at the company and see how they operate. A pyramid scheme defined, is an illegal business that involves participants paying money upfront for the chance at making more money in the future. The big difference between Arbonne and a pyramid scheme is that you can quit whenever you want, as long as you sell your products before you leave. So unlike other companies, it’s possible to quit Arbonne at any time. This is an important difference because, unlike a pyramid scheme, Arbonne has no required purchases. That being said, there is still a lot to cover when it comes to Arbonne. There are some aspects of Arbonne that you may want to know about before becoming an Independent Consultant.

is arbonne a pyramid scheme

No one is forcing you to buy products from Arbonne. Instead, everyone is encouraged to sell Arbonne’s products first; after that, you can choose what works best for your personal lifestyle. People are even welcome to join the company after selling their products. So, people are unable to get rich overnight by joining Arbonne. Selling Arbonne’s products definitely help everyone live a better life, but it won’t make you rich overnight because there’s a lot of work involved. So by pyramid scheme definition, this company would not qualify. There is a lot of competition in the health and beauty industry and all over the world. Because so many people are involved, every Independent Consultant needs to treat each sale as though it were their own business.

People think Arbonne is a pyramid scheme because most aren’t familiar with MLM or Multi-Level Marketing. MLM can seem like a pyramid scheme because you must get people below you to make money. However, you can still sell Arbonne’s products and make money that way. No one says that you must have people under you to make money.

Warning signs

You must be wondering how we can come to know what’s a pyramid scheme? Here are a few warning signs that you should pay attention to. A little care from your side can save you from the loss you are about to make. 

You get invited to a group whose main target is to recruit people. They constantly ask you to participate to include new members in the group. They give you a concept that the more people you bring into the group, the more benefit you earn. Then they tell you “pyramid scheme it works”.

The group offers you a promising reward. It might be a product of doubtful value, but they portray it as a highly valuable one. Another sign is that you may be asked to pay some amount. It can be in the form of fees, donations, registration, or security. 

The head of the pyramid or the administrator insists that the pyramid scheme money is totally legal. They emphasize that their business is transparent and free of hassle. However, all these claims are fake. 

How to protect yourself from a pyramid scheme?

It is a common question of how do you identify a pyramid scheme meme? And how can you stay away from it? Here are a few pieces of advice for you if you want to protect yourself from engaging in a pyramid scheme. Also, it helps you save yourself even if you are stuck in a pyramid business. 

  • Do due research about the company you are going to work with.
  • Check the value of the product they are selling. Note if the product is worthy of the cost or not
  • If the company promises you a commission on the basis of the sales of a product, do check the real value of the product. 
  • Do not take any financial decision under pressure
  • Do not engage yourself in an activity that promises your capital without doing anything
  • Make sure your friends and family also refrain from such activities as it doesn’t take long to spread
  • Never trust anyone with your money.
pyramid scheme meme

It is not only unethical but also illegal to get involved in a pyramid scheme. You might end up in prison if you do not take precautions at the right time. 


No matter how tempting the pyramid scheme meme is, never engage yourself in such a trap. As it is illegal, it can end up putting you in a hot spot. See this pyramid scheme explained guide and learn more about our pyramid scheme illegal or legal?