As I write this blog, I am deeply concerned about an investment scam that has penetrated the Slavic community in our state. Though some are unaware that the company is just that – a scam, many investors have already come to the realization that it is a scam, but, continue to “promote” it, in hopes of at least getting their initial investment returned.
Anytime a financial scam or pyramid scheme is organized, the first “investors” do win, otherwise, if no one were profiting, there would be no new investors! What deeply concerns me is that Christians, who realize it’s a scam which will sooner or later bankrupt families and individuals, continue to support, invest and promote that scam, just to get their investment returned.
If it is too good to be true, it probably isn’t true!
For those looking to debate with me whether or not a certain company is a scam – that’s not my expertise. Be wise where and with whom you invest, and know that there IS NO easy money to be made. This blog is geared toward those, who knowingly invest into a scam. Much of the text and scriptures below come from a blog posted on BibleResources.org here: http://bibleresources.org/pyramid-schemes/
There are ethical and scriptural reasons why Christians should not participate in pyramid schemes:
- Many are illegal. The operators of the schemes will often tell people that they are legal. They will also fight charges in court to delay the legal process from shutting them down, because the longer they keep going, the more money they make.
- The Bible says “Be not deceived, God is not mocked, whatsoever a man sows, that he shall also reap” (Galatians 6:7). If you sow your time, energy or money into a program that ultimately causes financial loss, suffering and confusion to others, even if you made money temporarily, you will ultimately reap suffering, confusion and financial loss as a result. The basic mathematics of these programs necessitates that there will be many times more people losing than gaining money.
- Jesus said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” (Matthew 7:12). We would not want anyone to get us involved in any endeavor, which would cause us financial loss. Therefore, as believers, we should not entice other people into a pyramid program which may cause them to experience financial loss. Is it really worth destroying relationships with people you know over love for money?
- Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is better than great riches.” If you participate in an unethical pyramid program, you are damaging your good name. People will begin to mistrust your motives. They will see you as a person who’s willing to take advantage of them in order to bring profit to yourself.
- The love of money motivates people to care more about self-interests than their neighbors or brothers. All pyramid programs will end up burning more people than they help. The basic mathematics of these programs necessitates that there will be many times more people losing than gaining money. That great majority of people will feel hurt, used, and abused. They will be disappointed and lose trust in anyone who got them involved in these programs. “The love of money is the root of all sorts of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). As Christians, we should be promoting righteousness, peace, and joy. Our relationships should be built on love and trust.
- The Bible says, “You must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat” (1 Corinthians 5:11). Swindlers take advantage of other people’s weaknesses to make money for themselves. Greedy people are motivated by a desire for personal gain at others’ expense. Covetousness is a form of idolatry (Colossians 3:5). We should flee such unrighteousness.
- “Those who do not work should not eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10). The desire to make money without working for it is an unrighteous desire. God uses work to build and shape our character. He delights in providing for those who put His Kingdom and His Righteousness first. Some people talk about using wealth that they are going to gain from pyramid schemes or gambling to promote God’s Kingdom. God’s Kingdom is not promoted by unrighteousness. It is promoted through the loving sacrifice of those who are obedient to the Lord Jesus Christ.
- The way we handle money will affect how people trust and perceive us. In Luke 16:11, Jesus said, “If you are not trustworthy in the use of unrighteous mammon, who will trust you with the true riches?” Furthermore, the way we handle our money is something God uses to determine whether He will trust us with the true riches of His Kingdom, which includes caring for His people and the release of spiritual gifts in our lives.
- “Flee the very appearance of evil” (Thessalonians 5:22). I urge you to flee from any unrighteous business dealings, unethical or illegal pyramid programs, gambling, or activities that are promoted by greed. God’s work is promoted most fruitfully by people who learn to love and give wisely, from an obedient, cheerful heart.
If you are still considering investing finances, here are some guidelines you can follow, as suggested by Life In Christ Ministries.
1. Diversify your investing. Ecclesiastes 11:2 says, “Divide your portion to seven, or even to eight, for you do not know what misfortune may occur on the earth”. Simply put, don’t put all of your eggs into one basket. In light of dividing portions between 7 or 8 you wouldn’t want to put more than 12 to 15 percent in a single asset class.
2. Understand what you’re investing in. Proverbs 27:23 says, “Know well the condition of your flocks, And pay attention to your herds”. Don’t rely solely on someone else to understand what you’re investing in. Make it a priority of your stewardship to know about, and the state of, your investments in the same way that a shepherd would know and examine his flock. In the next point we’ll mention the importance of seeking wise counsel, but wise counsel doesn’t negate our responsibility to understand what it is we’re putting our money towards.
3. Seek wise counsel. Proverbs 15:22 says, “Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established.” There may be plenty of people around you who have much more experience investing than you do, getting their input can help you avoid pitfalls they faced. For example, they may know why it’s a good idea for you to get other financial priorities in order first, or they may recommend a financial planner they’ve worked with. Whatever the case may be, the Bible is clear that seeking Godly counsel is always a wise choice.
4. Avoid immoral investments. Ephesians 5:11 says, “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” This is where many Christians can easily make mistakes when investing. We’re responsible for what we invest our money in; hence, if any person invests in a company that openly espouses an anti Biblical-agenda, they are responsible for helping propagate that company’s message.
Let me say this again, if it is too good to be true, it probably isn’t true!
My only request: Please dont try to GUESS the company I’m referring to, because that is not the point of this blog. This blog is only geared to those who knowingly invest into a scam. If you think you are investing into a great company and you have done your research, thats awesome!
7 thoughts on “Are you Knowingly Investing into a Financial Scam or Pyramid Scheme?”
Sometime ago I was going over different scams that conmen used to get money from naive people in 80s and 90s, and I realize one thing. Most of the times there is a promise to make money quickly and easy.
1 Timothy 6:9-11
New Living Translation (NLT)
9 But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.
so many slavic people invested in a real estate market back years ago with intention of making money fast (remember house flipping?). was it a scam? NO!!! did ppl lose money??? SURE THEY DID!!!!! INVESTING IS A RISK!!! so let people make their own choises where to invest… back in the days Rockefeller invested in Canadian land to dig руда for steel industry with intention to compete with Carnegie… did he know anything about steel industry? NO!!! not a bit!!! but he took a risk so he could make money. ANY INVESTMENT ASSUMES RISK!! it is everyone’s personal business where to invest!!! if you believe that there is a company that is running a scam and you CAN prove it, it is your duty to reported to fbi; otherwise, it needs to be left alone. (please note, i am NOT referring to any specific company. this is a general statement)!
All investments involve risk. All scams involve loss. You must know the difference between the two. This blog is talking about scams.
a scam can be argued… if a company follows all legals, it should not be call a scam. a scam is when an owner of a body shop buys a car and undoes the miles on the odometer or sells it for more that he reports to avoid taxes.. that’s a scam.. if a company is registered and follows as i mentioned all legalities, than is it a scam?…
Just because a business appears to be legal, does not mean it’s not a scam. Most higher level scams are not detected or caught until after people have lost money. What makes them scams is the fact that from the beginning people who run them know fully well that eventually the operation will crash, at the expense of those who invested in it. In other words, people in charge privatize the profit, while make investors pay for the loss.
Moreover, pastors are called by God for the building up of the body of Christ. As such, they can and should give us biblical guidance on all manners of life. (Including financial decisions).
“For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life” Proverbs 6:23. In these last days, when the darkness covers the earth we need God’s word, for it will shine as a lamp and show us the way of Life. It is full of wisdom and knowledge, as such, i want to thank pastor for giving God’s people guidance based on the word of God, relating to everyday concerns.
A pyramid scheme is a scam. All of them are. Why? The problem is that the scheme cannot go on forever because there is a finite number of people who can join the scheme (even if all the people in the world join) than the people on the bottom have essentially been “scammed” because well they simply have no one else to sell to if in theory they are the bottom of the pyramid. But in all cases the very tip of the pyramid does make money. It used to be illegal, but the problem is now the scams actually provide services (such as phones, phone cards, etc etc) something cheap and consumable that they can “sell” but with the sale of that, you still have money that you have to invest, with (mandatory donation, trips to seminars, etc) that is why these business are allowed to still do it because before they would not actually provide service or “sell anything” it would just be taking money. Its just a legal loophole please stop kidding yourself. There is no such thing as a “Get Rich Quick” Method, there are no “Do Nothing But take this pill and you will lose all your fat” Pills, life just simply does not work this way, as he said above you have to Reap what you sow… Put in the hard work and effort to gain wealth and stability. Just like anything else, there is no mind control program that can teach you everything you need to know for your whole life in 10 minutes, Life is all about time, INVEST time into Knowledge, Finances, Love, Projects, People, INVEST TIME INTO LIFE and you will see a return.
so let me get this straight, people are getting paid to send emails out to ‘sell’ something, but before you get a list of emails, you need to pay money for the list, then you sit at home and send emails out to some email addresses and get paid for it…then there are some smart ones out there and they figured out you can get browser extensions and that will do the clicking for you (now your job is automated)…so here is my confusion – couldn’t the company just automate the clicking on their own and save paying all the ‘hard workers’ and just make more money for themselves? Maybe the company just wants to share the wealth. But hold on, who would be paying the company??? Hmmm….that’s where you go back to the top of this comment and voila, you’ve just paid yourself…