Always Look A Gifting Table In The Mouth
Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:15 pm
One of the more traditional "home-based" scams is the pyramiding con, usually based on recruiting the marks from family, friends, neighbors and acquaintances and convincing them to invest in a variation of the chain-mail scam; typically the investors turn over a chunk of money now and then are expected to bring more people into the scam who will fund the victim's "reward" in the future - if they can recruit enough victims. This schemes always fall apart for the same reason: the pool of gullible marks is quite limited. The only ones who get any sizeable reward are the con artists who started the pyramid up in the first place and coincidentally were the very first people to get the initial allocation of monies.
The Department of Justice released a press release
on a variation of this scam called the "Gifting Table. To make it even more attractive to the marks, our friendly felons decided to sweeten the grift with promises that the rewards gained were tax-exempt.
Re: Always Look A Gifting Table In The Mouth
Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:04 pm
The first scam of this sort which I ever encountered was the "Airplane Game", about 25 years ago. The premise was on the order was that the Original Scammer was the Pilot. He'd recruit two others, who would become Co-Pilots. The next four to be recruited would be Flight Crew; and the next eight suckers to be recruited would become Passengers. All of the "fares" went to the pilot.
As soon as Passenger #8 paid his/her "fare", the Pilot would "pilot out" and leave the program. Two new "aircraft" would be created, with the Co-Pilots becoming Pilots, and everyone else moving up one level. The task them became recruiting eight more Passengers, at which point the Pilots would pilot out and there would now be four "aircraft", with suitable promotions for all.
I learned about this from a neighbor who was,shall we say, not the brightest bulb on the tree but always had a scheme for becoming rich (biorhythm horoscopes sold through the National Enquirer was one). He said that he was Passenger #5 on an "airplane", and that it I paid my "fare", we'd only need two more people before the planes split and we got promotions to Flight Crew. "True," I replied; "but even assuming that two of the other planes "crash" while we are at the Co-Pilot and Pilot levels, it would require that 48 more people be recruited before we'd walk off with out $800 in "fares"
The guy looked at me, confused, and said "but the guy said that he knew a bunch of people who had already made easy money in this game." I said "sure, they would. They want to make it seem as lucrative as possible because the more people who get on board their "airplane", the closer the Pilot is to piloting out, and the closer your friend is to any sort of return on his $100. I could say that Debra Winger is my secret lover; but that doesn't mean that she is. Your friend can say that the Airplane Game is a money-maker; but that's because he has a powerful incentive to rope others in on the scheme."
The guy agreed to think it over; but a week later his wife told me that she was now hiding the family money supply since, being on welfare and having chronic problems meeting their bills, she wasn't about to let "Arthur" throw away any more of their money like this. It's a shock to all, I'm sure, that their marriage lasted only a couple of more years.