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Pyramid Schemes

Pyramid schemes are illegal money-making ventures that usually benefit those that started the scheme, the individuals at the top of the pyramid.  A single promoter (or small group of promoters) collects money from a certain number of friends and instructs them to collect more money from others with a promise of better returns on the initial deposit based on the number of people a participant recruits.  The cycle goes on from there and as the pyramid grows the number of people involved becomes too large to sustain it. Some people will fail to deposit their money or recruit the required number of friends and the pyramid crumbles.  Most people end up at the bottom of the pyramid and inevitably lose their initial investment, which is enjoyed by the top selected few (usually those who started the scheme).  The people at the bottom of the pyramid do not get their money back because there is no one beneath them in the pyramid adding new money.