Online pyramid schemes now being called ‘The Circle Game,’ ‘Mandala Game,’ ‘Blessing Circle,’ and more

Online pyramid schemes now being called ‘The Circle Game,’ ‘Mandala Game,’ ‘Blessing Circle,’ and more
An alert from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) identified several names used to convince social media users that they’re participating in online games when in actuality they’re being sucked into a pyramid scheme. (Source: Federal Trade Commission)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - An alert for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) identified several names used to convince social media users that they’re participating in online games when in actuality they’re being sucked into a pyramid scheme.

The names include: “The Circle Game,” “Blessing Loom,” Money Board,” “Mandala Game,” “Blessing Circle,” “Infinity Loom,” and “Giving Circle.”

The FTC says invites for these schemes are being shared through social media sites like Instagram and Facebook, and through text messages.

The invite directs the user to send $100 through PayPal or another digital payment service to the person whose name is at the center of an octagon-shaped playing board.

“Your payment gets you one of eight spots on the outer ring of the board and a chance to move towards the center by recruiting other people to join. As more people join, your board changes and the number of playing boards expands,” the FTC said. “Eventually, you’re supposed to land at the center of a playing board and collect $100 from each of eight new recruits on the outer ring. That’s when you leave the game or start all over again with another $100 payment.”

Eventually, the user will run out of contacts to recruit and the money will dry up.

The FTC advises users to alert friends or family members who send invites that the game is a scam.

Anyone who has paid to join this type of game is asked to contact the FTC by clicking the link here.

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