A pyramid scheme called the "Friendsgiving Network" is making the rounds among Montanans on Facebook and the social network's messaging platform.
The state Auditor's Office sent out a news release Monday warning of the scheme.
According to the Auditor's Office, the scheme involves recruiting friends to buy into the bottom of a pyramid for $100. Once the pyramid is filled up with new participants, the person at the top takes $800. The two people at the second tier of the pyramid each become the top of two new pyramids, and the process repeats. It is primarily operating within private group chats on the Facebook Messenger app.
The scheme, which is being pitched as a “tournament” or “friends helping friends” make money online, involves participants both in and outside of Montana, including Flathead County and likely Gallatin County.
The Auditor’s Office is investigating the pyramid scheme, which it called illegal.
“Pyramid schemes like these are against the law because they always fail once the pool of new recruits runs out. People at the top of the pyramids make money, but the newest participants lose everything they’ve put into the pyramid,” Auditor Matt Rosendale said in the release. “Montanans should not participate in these type of schemes, and remember: If an opportunity to make money sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
Suspicious or suspected fraudulent activity should be reported to the Auditor's Office at 1-800-332-6148, or http://csimt.gov/insurance/report-fraud/.
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