Scammers are out to prey on MLM victims and small businesses
Predator, scam, con, sleazy, trap… all these words can rightly come to mind when I talk about pyramid schemes, multi-level marketing campaigns or “MLM”.
It probably conjures up images of boring posts from the one gullible high school friend you didn’t quite have the heart to remove from your Facebook friends list. Perhaps you know someone who has tested themselves. The only thing that the victims of these predatory marketing schemes have in common is that they are in the sinkhole of a lot of money. Usually the money the victims cannot afford, as these scams prey on economically vulnerable people. Truly, there are few things more universally loathsome than MLM pyramid schemes…but I found one.
Did you know that there is a whole secondary market of scammers to recycle MLM victims?
A new twist on the idea of ambulance chasers, there is a whole demographic of scam artists who scour social media such as Facebook and Reddit to find recently victimized people looking for a way out of the hole. pyramid shape in which they found themselves. , offer services to these victims to “help” them recover lost investments or liquidate their nearly worthless inventory and then ghost the victims – taking them for their non-existent money a second time. They often present themselves as legal representation or consumer relief of one flavor or another.
Here is an example posted on the r/antiMLM subreddit:
This site does not exist. It’s not a real law firm. The premise is a scam seeking to sucker the same victim twice. A commenter using the username “lemontest” shared the following account:
After my relative got scammed by a company that promised to help her start a drop shipping business, another company magically appeared and promised to get her money back. She gave them money and never heard from them again. I’m sure there’s a lot of money to be made selling contact lists of people who fall into the get-rich-quick trap.
How incredibly toxic is it? Be vigilant there, scammers are creative.
If you (by asking a friend of course) or someone else you know has been scammed online, I recommend this lighthearted and somewhat cheeky recovery guide found on the Federal Trade Commission and written by Jon M Taylor, MBA, Ph.D. of the Consumer Awareness Institute.
Any MLM stories to share or other comments? I would love to hear from you.