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10:58 on Tuesday
23 November 2004

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Warning issued against "Get Rich Quick" schemes



Peterborough Trading Standards are offering a warning to consumers against pyramid selling schemes which may be circulating in the area.

Pyramid schemes are usually promoted with the tempting invitation to “Get Rich Quick” but often result in the majority of people not seeing the promised return on their money.

Generally pyramid schemes operate by inducing investors to make money by recruiting new people to the scheme. Investors pay a fixed sum of money to one of the existing members in the belief of receiving even larger payments in return for recruiting others.

A classic example might see eight people making an initial investment. They in turn each have to recruit eight more people, who also have to do the same before they see a return on their investment. Although, a few people may receive greater payments at the start of the scheme, there is a danger of the scheme failing because it becomes more difficult to find new people to invest in the scheme.

Roger Woodthorpe, Principal Trading Standards Officer for Peterborough City Council, said, “The majority of these schemes are illegal, however many still operate in the UK. Our advice to local residents is beware of any scheme that seems to be too good to be true - like “get rich quick” schemes - because they often are too good to be true!”

He added, “We believe there may be pyramid selling schemes being brought in to the Peterborough area and we strongly advise people to steer clear of such schemes which often look to attract more vulnerable people and those who can least afford to lose their investment.”

May 2001

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