Diamond Scheme or Scam?
When in college, the idea of getting rich quick is far fetched. However, when opportunity knocks, you answer the door, right? A new “get rich quick” method is surfacing, and showed its face -- or perhaps their faces -- to me while I was waitressing at Applebee’s.
The couple I met suggested they had a way to help me change the world and requested only my phone number, but they left out all the details as to how I would change the world.
By appearing to be an average family, wearing successful-looking attire and having dinner with their children, they convinced me they knew what they were talking about and could be trusted. And with that, for the next few days, I waited for a call.
The first phone call was anything but informational. There was an extreme stress on the importance of me reading a book titled “The Go-Giver,” and talk about how I would need to be accountable and have to follow through.
The second call, about a week apart, was along the same lines. However, an actual meeting at their home in Overland Park was scheduled, as I had demonstrated that up to this point, I would be a great candidate.
At this point, with the talk of this mysterious mentor, and their stress on the importance of finding the right candidate, it all seemed a bit cult-like. At the end of the day though, my inner journalist couldn’t resist seeing what this was all about. I bought some travel-size pepper spray and drove to Overland Park.
The meeting consisted of watching a video of a man speak about his testimony of becoming rich fast through this program. There was lots of talk about the importance of trust and taking risks. At the end of this two-hour session, I left with two more books, a couple of CDs and several packets of information.
At this stage, I had questions, so I turned to Google and found some pretty interesting results. While the brand that was introduced to me is not specifically listed on the internet as a pyramid scheme (a business model that recruits members with a promise of payment for enrolling others into the scheme), there are many blog posts and short reviews of working with this so-called “Diamond Company.”
The process that this company takes you through requires you to sell products basically door to door, but in order to move up in the company you must recruit a certain amount of people to also join the door-to-door band wagon.
This exact process can be referred to as a pyramid scheme or a pyramid scam. The first thing that needs to be addressed is these individuals’ uncanny ability to say exactly what you need to hear. They heard how I wanted to make a difference in the world after I got out of school and played on that by saying in order to help people, you need money to do so.
Secondly, the company will never admit to being a pyramid scheme. They will always have too many “success” stories for those claims to be true. And if you plan on getting any information out of them, do not even whisper those two words, as you will immediately be considered untrusting and an unfit candidate.
In general, unless you are trying to start your own pyramid scheme, or learn the ins and outs of how this scam works, it would be best for hungry college students to avoid people and companies that offer hollow promises.
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