September 27, 2021

‘Too good to be true’

A seven-second video with no dialogue somehow says it all — the scream wafting across a college dorm room is unmistakably anguished. 

“My roommate just found out that the pyramid scheme she got involved in is illegal,” TikTok user @ciarathetennisgir wrote in the post. It’s since been viewed nearly 3 million times. 

According to the Federal Trade Commission, pyramid schemes are “scams” that generate money based on the people recruited, not how much of a product is sold. They can “look remarkably like legitimately multi-level marketing business opportunities” — especially to a naive young college student. 

Since pyramid schemes are illegal, companies obviously do not market themselves as such. They often start as multi-level marketing companies, or MLMs, which sell products or services through person-to-person sales, but also put a great deal of emphasis on new member…

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