One of the hottest news right now in the Philippines is the pyramiding scam by Aman Futures. It is very controversial because it scammed over 15 billion pesos from thousands of investors including local government officials.
What is a pyramiding scam?
Pyramiding or Ponzi scheme is illegal to most countries, it is a "get rich quick" scheme in which attracts many people to spend their money and to invest on pyramiding companies.
Its promoter is on top of the pyramid, then recruits investor by promising huge amount of interest in exchange for their investment. Most of them are sweet talker and will talk any kind on bull crap just to get your money. The only way to get your commission is through convincing and recruiting other people to join your down line, the more you recruit the more you will make money.
Tips to avoid pyramiding scam
I have here tips to protect your money and investment from these pyramiding companies.
1. Beware of its "get rich quick" promise
If it's agents are promising a huge kick back on your investments, then you should worry because it is a bait from them.
2. Too good to be true
Besides from the high paychecks they promise, they also offer motorcycles, business and even a car just for you to invest in their company. Another, if they tell you, that all you need to do is invest, and they will do rest.
3. Don't believe in testimonials
A pyramiding company will do all sorts of lies just to get money out of your pocket, and a testimonial is one of their weapons that is very effective on brainwashing people.
4. Background check
If you attend its seminar or orientation, make sure you do your homework and check if its registered or has a license to operate. Check its credibility, innovation, who are the people behind this company, can they be trusted? are they on stock market? and so on...
During orientation you should ask these questions to the speaker
- Is there a product?
- Are commissions paid on sale of products and not on registration/entry fees?
- Is the intent to sell a product not a position?
- Is there no direct correlation between the number of recruits and compensation?
- If recruitment were to be stopped today, will the participants still make money?
- Is there a reasonable product return policy?
- Do products have fair market value?
- Is there a compelling reason to buy?
If the answer to all the questions is YES, then the company being evaluated is a legitimate company. But if the answer is NO, then there is a high probability that it is a pyramid scam.
5. Beware of the binary method
Based on the website of DSAP (Direct Selling Association of the Philippines) binary methods are almost like pyramiding, although it is not illegal, it is against the law of direct selling or network marketing. This method is the "left and right" you recruit to your left, and you also recruit on your right, so much for selling. Companies like these focuses more on recruiting rather than selling, so you should beware.
6. No products to sell
Again, pyramiding uses "get rich quick" scheme to attract people to invest. They promise you make money while you sleep.
A legitimate networking company needs to have a product that has the same worth as your investment. Recruiting should be an OPTION not your means to make money, you don't also earn through recruiting.
7. How stable is this company
Check if it has the capacity to pay commissions, do a background check on its finances, or other investments. You should know where your money goes after you invest.
8. Be doubtful if it is like a cult or religion
I remember when I was recruited by a networking company back then, it was so so like a cult or something, when the speaker talks some crap and start demonstrating the product, its members together shouts the word "power" and it was so cheesy, its like they want to brainwash us or something. I have nothing against that company, but they uses the binary method which is recruitment based.
9. Ask questions
Before entering a networking company you should ask these questions, if they have unsure answers then it mus be a scam.
- Are the rewards you have been promised based on product sales (by either yourself or others you introduce to the scheme)?
- Are the products genuine products of real value, at a reasonable price and the type of thing that consumers will want to buy time and time again?
A good networking company always takes care the interest of its distributors and customers, then they should have a training for it. Having self improvements training are important to MLM companies in which pyramiding doesn't have.
Actually I have a networking business check out this blog, but I am confident that this is not a pyramiding scam because I checked everything, from its founders, scientists, quality of the products to the finances, everything about it is stable.
Remember and keep in mind that there is no such thing as "get rich quick" unless you won the lottery. People you see get rich in networking has worked their butt out, and did it with pure hard work and perseverance, and an attitude not to quit.
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