I’ve compiled the following information because someone you know and care about may be solicited by someone involved in a “Cash Gifting” scheme. There is a huge surge of these groups right now, who are taking advantage of people during the recession. A search for “Cash Gifting” on Google shows 207 paid listings for these scams. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The “Cash Gifting” groups are soliciting under a bunch of different names, but the theme is the same. You join, pay a cash “gift” to the person who recruits you, and then you recruit people who give cash “gifts” to you. Their premise is that it is legal to give a gift to anyone, and they’ll tell you that it is exempt from taxes. Some of these groups claim that a charity is being supported, or that this is a charitable activity. Cash Gifting, under any name, is an illegal Ponzi pyramid scheme. Participation could mean at the least that you lose the money “gifted” and at the most, you could be arrested for participating this illegal activity, which is a felony. You can also be sued by everyone you get to sign up under you.
Don’t let biblical quotes and the false representation of being a charity fool you into believing you can gain monetary success through an Cash Gifting program.
The Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission suggest that anyone who is approached to join a gifting scheme should:
- Consider that a legitimate gift has no strings attached
- Avoid being misled into thinking a gifting club is legitimate because the members say they consider their payments a gift and expect nothing in return. This is an attempt to make an illegal transaction look legal.
- Be wary of success stories or testimonials of tremendous payoffs. Very few members of illegal gifting clubs or pyramid schemes ever receive any money.
- Take your time. Don’t buckle under to a high-pressure sales pitch that requires you to join immediately or risk losing out on the opportunity.
- Remember that pyramid schemes are illegal. Avoid plans that offer commissions based solely on recruiting new members.
- Don’t be swayed by assurances that the scheme has been “approved” or that charities will benefit from the gifting club. Before risking your money, your reputation, and your peace of mind, review the plan with an accountant or an independent attorney who is experienced in consumer law.
They also promote themselves as a legitimate business opportunity, where there will be:
- No Selling
- No Explaining
- No Chasing Family or Friends
- No Convincing
- No Products people don’t want or need
Other groups claim you can get a “Mortgage Free” home by saying:
- you can obtain a custom built home, with very little money as down payment.
- you do not have to pay any further out of pocket expense to own a home.
- you will obtain your home in far less time than with a conventional mortgage.
- you can earn large monthly incomes forever, and they can even be “willed.”
These people are flooding the internet with a bunch of false information. They have nice websites, and they publish press releases. They claim to be endorsed by Oprah. They send chain letters, and do telemarketing. They claim you can get (fill in any dollar amount here) from people all over the world. They say you can turn $5 into $75,000 in 3 weeks. They say that the more you “gift,” the more you’ll receive. Some of them include a product or download, or lifetime membership as a way to try to cover up the illegal “gifting” activity. Don’t believe what they tell you.
There are also “download” and “lifetime membership” groups that are cash gifting scams that claim (quoting one such website):
- You will answer no emails!
- You will never need to build a website to earn money
- You will earn money without paying membership fees or recurring membership fees!
- There will be no silly over saturated affiliate programs you will need to promote!
- You will obviously sell . . . absolutely nothing!
- You won’t ever talk to prospects. Okay, you will answer to your referrals, but you do not EVER need to physically do it or via phone. This is limited to comments and talking “through the pen”!
- You will NEVER call anyone!
- You will obviously NOT gamble, and with my help . . . not even with Google Adwords!
- You will receive money without paying subscription fees and NO Monthly Subscription!
- You need NO high start up costs!
- In fact when you join, that will be the ONLY money you will be spending!
These scams masquerade under a bunch of different names, and the scammers dress up their scams in different ways. If they promise you Free Money, run in the opposite direction. The names change all the time, so just because it’s not on the list below doesn’t mean that it’s a legal group, activity or opportunity.
Some names, terms, and websites often used by groups like this include:
90 days with Dell
A Gift Network
Abundant Living System
Avalanche of Payments
Cash Giving Mentor
Cash Gift Proof
Cash Leveraging Made Simple
Charity Begins at Home
Constitutional Rights Kindness Free association
Decide Freedom Now
Environmental Constr Solutions Inc.
Epic Wealth Systems
EZY Cash Gifts
Freshmen Nice people Sophomore
Get My Free Money
Gift Gifter I gave
Give Helping others Activity
Giving and Sharing Gifts
Golden Rule Associates Panel
Home Business Start up Funds
I have gifted Giving Family
ICF World Homes
Invited by Fellow man Community
Liberty League International
Mission Cash Complete
Mortgage Free Homes
My Incentive Website
Participation Register your gift Giving
Pay it Forward
Power of People Network
Prosperity Man’s Channel
Receive Junior Participant
Right to give Senior I have received
Season of Sharing
Sharing Caring Invitation
The Abundant Pay it Forward Gift Program
The Cash Leveraging System
The Friendship Investment Club
The Last Program
The Online Cash System
The Power of Leadership
The Spirit of Giving
The World’s first Interdenominational Belief System on the Internet!
True Wealth Today
Upgrade My Cash
You can retire soon
Note: I compiled the above information from data collected from http://scam.com/, the BBB, FTC, and other online resources. If you have legal, incontrovertible proof that one of the above groups is not involved in illegal activity, please comment to this post, and I will remove them from the list.
Since posting this earlier today, I’ve been contacted by a dozen people who want me to sign up with their scam. Can’t these people read?
Update #2: Got a prerecorded call today (11/08/10), from “Scott in Portland” (Caller ID said Palm Springs CA 760-569-6384) who said he got my information on the internet, and I’m apparently the type of go-getter who will see the real value in this amazing opportunity. It’s another cash gifting program, but they call it “cash pledge” instead of “cash gifting.” The names they’re using are:
One Up Cash Flow
The Cash Tracking System
You can see their scam at http://hundredsnow.com/site. Anyone who falls for this scam is desperate, really stupid, or know its a scam and participate anyway. (BTW, if you go to the website here, instead: http://hundredsnow.com, you’ll have to give them your name, email address and phone number, so they can hound you.
I watched the entire video series, and it’s appalling how they encourage people to take cash advancements from their credit cards, get a bank loan, borrow from friends, cash in investments, or borrow from their pension funds, so they can participate. They know they’re appealing to desperate people, and, more importantly, have no conscience. They want your money, and they don’t care what you have to do to give it to them. They don’t care that the system won’t work for you. When you send them your money, it works for them, and that’s all that counts.
Update #3: Got an email from Scott Heacock, who wants me to call him at 503-656-9991 after viewing the videos.
Important note: They’re very adamant about “No products, No services, No meetings.” Others get NOTHING from sending you money, other than the opportunity to get other people to give money to them. Back up one step: You get NOTHING from participating in these schemes other than the opportunity to scam others.
Run, don’t walk.