When I attended a meeting for the Pay it Forward Gifting Circle in the Fraser Valley, BC, last spring, the dark, exotic, gorgeously-wealthy-looking curly haired anonymous woman running the presentation started out by saying “don’t believe what you read on google about gifting circles – its all false”. She admitted that the internet is full of warnings about getting involved in a gifting circle such as Pay it Forward, and said not to worry about them. “We’re not in jail, yet” she said. I almost laughed out loud when she included the “yet”. She probably thought the twinkle in my eye was the sucker in me, being sucked in.
The warnings are there for good reason. Pay it Forward is a well-thought-out scam that has probably been playing out in this woman’s family for generations as they travel across Canada and hit folks in new cities up for 5K before leaving them high and dry with their 40K.
I don’t know how folks who have invested in this scam can sleep at night. Simple math tells a person with average intelligence that the program is not at all sustainable without traveling the country to find “fresh meat”, and that many are going to lose out on both cash and friends and family.
I wrote a short blog about attending the meeting, and it’s getting regular hits from search engines. I wasted my time going, I might as well write another, and potentially cash in on the ad revenue on the topic. That’s about all the money there is to be earned in gifting circles.