Both my husband and I were lured, on separate occasions, to a Pay it Forward Gifting Circle pyramid scheme meeting recently here in Abbotsford. The scheme is that one gifts $5000 and gets eight people underneath them to also gift $5000 in order to eventually be paid out $40,000. Those eight people need eight people and so on and so on. The scheme is called a ‘circle’, but is clearly shaped like a pyramid.
A couple of months ago, I had an add up on craigslist offering writing services, and a respondent to the add brought me to the meeting under the pretense that he was going to hire me to write a business plan for him. I went to the meeting, learned about the scam, and learned there was no actual business plan for me to write – the ploy was only to get me to the Pay if Forward meeting. And just the other day, my husband was invited to a Pay if Forward meeting by a friend who fibbed about what the meeting was, in order to get him to go.
Thankfully, our friend who fibbed about the purpose of the meeting had not yet put in their $5000, and so after my husband attended and exposed the circle as a scam, saying, “I don’t want to be on this Titanic when it sinks” they decided not to participate.
The Pay it Forward gifting circle in the Fraser Valley of BC is lead by a woman who operates under a phony name – but I could easily pick her out of a police line up with her boisterous curly hair and exotic complexion. She has apparently been paid out twice, and is working on her third time. She said at the meeting that I went to as part of her spiel, “We have been doing it for seven years, and we’re not in jail yet”. She’s not in jail yet; the Titanic of pyramid schemes is not yet sunk. But it will sink, and she will go with it, taking with her all those countless folks in the middle and at the bottom of the pyramid, who never had a chance of making it to the top.