The pharaohs of ancient Egypt created the first pyramid schemes. 😆 But since then these schemes have evolved to become more elaborate. The most recent example has taken shape in the form of a Gifting Circle, which specifically targets affluent women. According to the Better Business Bureau, a consumer watchdog, the scam works by inviting women to join wine parties and luring them in with the promise of a $40,000 payout if they invest just $5,000 themselves and recruit their friends. Organizers at the party claim to create “abundance and spiritual healing” for anyone who signs up. 😇
Personally I thought spirituality was about self development and discovering meaning from within. I didn’t realize it could be bought with money, lol. But I am certainly no expert on the subject. 😌
Evan Kelly, an advisor for BBB Mainland B.C., says that since $5,000 is somewhat prohibitive, this scheme tends to go after wealthy women and their circle of friends. “After all, a friend asked you to join. It couldn’t possibly be a scam, right?” Kelly says. But eventually the pyramid collapses under its own weight and members on the bottom lose thousands.
So if you ever get invited to a party that might be held under false pretense then enjoy yourself and drink responsibly. 🙂 But please DO NOT sign up for any programs they want you to join, especially if it involves recruiting more of your friends.
Here are some tips from the Better Business Bureau for avoiding potential scams such as this.
- Do your own independent research and be skeptical.
- If there’s no actual product or service being offered, question how it makes money?
- Be careful of investments that promise low risk and high returns.
So the lesson here is simple: Money can’t always buy brains. However, brains will almost certainly make us more money. 😀 To improve our financial literacy, we can take this online quiz I recently stumbled across. It contains 6 short questions related to personal finance and should help us make better money decisions. Feel free to take the quiz here and see if you can ace it on your first try. 😉 To put things into perspective, the national average score in the U.S. is 3.16. Hmm. That seems kind of low to me.
Random Useless Fact:
A polar bear’s fur is not white. Each hair is a clear hollow tube. The bear looks white because of the way its hairs reflect the sunlight.