The Better Business Bureau is warning of a pyramid scheme that promises easy money via a “Blessing Loom.”
According to the BBB, victims of the scam receive direct messages through social media – most often on Instagram or Facebook – from a friend, family member or possibly a stranger.
They invite you to join a “Blessing Loom,” which is described as an opportunity to earn money while also “blessing others.”
Victims are told that if they make an investment of about $100 through a digital payment service, they can spread the wealth and see a huge return on the money they put in.
Victims are then asked to recruit other people to invest.
“They will recruit even more people, and, as the circle widens, everyone makes loads of cash,” wrote the BBB. “Sounds great, right? The trouble is that this is a pyramid scheme.”
The BBB says that once people stop participating, the money supply stops as well, leaving a lot of disappointed people who lose the cash they initially invested.
The BBB offered these tip to avoid social media scams like this one:
· Stay alert to pyramid schemes. Pyramid schemes promise quick profits for recruiting others. Scammers prey on the desire to make a lot of money with very little effort. But remember, pyramid schemes are illegal in the United States and Canada .
· Be skeptical: Before you accept any offer on social media, do your research. Just because something appears to be fun and was shared by a friend, doesn’t mean there isn’t an inherent risk. Many of these offers include extravagant promises that aren't kept.
· Monitor Friend Requests: Don't accept friend requests from people you don’t know. Also be wary of a second friend request from someone you are already connected with; the second profile may be an imposter trying to access your data and your friends list.
· Ask questions and research the offer before joining any business venture: What appears to be a legitimate investment could still be a pyramid scheme. Check business ratings and reviews on BBB.org and other search engines before agreeing to work with or invest in any company or individual.
If you’ve been the victim of a scam, on social media or otherwise, report your experience on the BBB.org/ScamTracker. Your report can help others to stay informed and protected!