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Scams & Cons

Pyramid Schemes

A pyramid scheme is a "get rich quick" scheme that takes the form of a chain letter, gifting club, or similarly structured device that promises substantial financial gain in return for mailing or otherwise delivering cash, check, or money order to one or more persons without receiving any item, product, or tangible service in return. All pyramid schemes are illegal.

Chain Letters | Sympathy Chain Letters | September 11 Hoaxes & Rumors

Illegal Chain Letters

Click on the title to see the complete hoax text, a description, brief history, reporting date in a new browser window. In many cases, the hoax description site may also include reactions from hoax subjects, an extensive history, and provide links to additional analysis and interviews.

Illegal Chain Letters

Kid Gets Rich From Chain Letter - This chain letter claims that a mother found $71,000 in her 15 year old son's closet. The elborate story is the "hook" to get you to forward this letter to others. Click on this scheme's title to read snopes.com's report. This is a classic pyramid scheme, and contrary to it's claim it is illegal under the Postal Lottery Statute (U.S. Code, Title 18, Section 1302). According to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, chain letters are against the law "if they request money or other items of value and promise a substantial return to the participants". Chain letters are only legal (a) if they request that something of no real value be mailed to the sender, like a business card or brochure, (b) or the sender mails something of value back to the recipient in exchange for his money. Simply adding your name to a mailing list in exchange for money is illegal. Read an article written by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

 

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