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Old 05-25-2002, 01:59 AM
kambuckta kambuckta is offline
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Scams? Joker 88 and the like...what is the problem?

OK, a few years ago I was introduced to Joker 88 (send $50 to the person on top of the list, $50 to the admin and $50 to the person who gave you the 'entry' certificate. A classic pyramid scheme if ever I've heard one (and I've heard of heaps).

HOWEVER, the object of the scheme is not so bad. Underneath the 'scam' is a fundamental redistribution of wealth.

When I 'joined' the scheme, I had pondered the implications for 2 months beforehand, and could NOT come up with any moral/ethical problem that would preclude my involvement. (I was prepared to risk my 'investment' in the chance of making some money)...I fully informed all the people I passed on the 'certificates' to to warn them of the risk, and discussed with them my own reservations (even though I could not quite articulate them at the time). While I didn't RECIEVE any money I didn't lose any either (apart from the cost of buying o/s cheques and postage to Europe....maybe $20 all up). It was a worthwhile risk IMHO.

Thus my question IS: what is wrong (apart from the risk of losing only one's initial investment which I DIDN'T) in getting involved in a money redistribution 'scam'? I hold myself to be generally honourable and law-abiding, but I cannot for the life of me figure out why the 'authorities' are so down on such schemes.
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Old 05-25-2002, 02:15 AM
Fatman Fatman is offline
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Because it is illegal and because it doesn't work.
If everyone was honest and followed the rules the entire
planet would be in on the scheme at some point. (For some
pyramids this would be less than 20 levels.) Those at the
bottom would have no one to enlist. Only those at the
top would make any money.

But people can see that if they start their own pyramid they
are at the top. The chain is always broken.
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  #3  
Old 05-25-2002, 02:42 AM
kambuckta kambuckta is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Fatman
Because it is illegal and because it doesn't work.
If everyone was honest and followed the rules the entire
planet would be in on the scheme at some point. (For some
pyramids this would be less than 20 levels.) Those at the
bottom would have no one to enlist. Only those at the
top would make any money.
But by my reckoning, even if the 'scheme' had been around the world and had touched every individual, why wouldn't they be MORE inclined to try it out again (thereby making an unlimited amount of people to enlist)? If it works at the 'upper' levels, why wouldn't it thus work at the lower levels as well?
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Old 05-25-2002, 10:41 AM
Telemark Telemark is online now
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Quote:
Originally posted by kambuckta

If it works at the 'upper' levels, why wouldn't it thus work at the lower levels as well?
Because of math. There are a finite number of people in the world, most of them cannot make money from this scheme. Money is not created, just "redistributed" as you said. It goes from the people who join late to the people who join early.

If it were to work for everyone, where would the extra money come from?
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Old 05-25-2002, 11:58 AM
23skidoo 23skidoo is offline
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Re: Scams? Joker 88 and the like...what is the problem?

Quote:
Originally posted by kambuckta
OK, a few years ago I was introduced to Joker 88 (send $50 to the person on top of the list, $50 to the admin and $50 to the person who gave you the 'entry' certificate...While I didn't RECIEVE any money I didn't lose any either (apart from the cost of buying o/s cheques and postage to Europe....maybe $20 all up).
How did you get involved in a pyramid scheme and break even? Did they give you your money back when it petered out, or what?
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  #6  
Old 05-26-2002, 03:48 PM
Chronos Chronos is online now
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Not only do all pyramid schemes fail, most of them fail immediately, with only two levels, the scammer and the suckers. The scammer tells you that each person sends it to five others, or ten others. What actually happens is that the scammer sends it to ten thousand people, and those ten thousand all lose (or at least, all of them who participate).
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  #7  
Old 05-26-2002, 09:15 PM
SCSimmons SCSimmons is offline
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Let me try to clarify the OP a little (as I understood it). He knows it's illegal, and he seems to know that it's a poor risk. But lots of poor risks are legal-why is this one in particular legislated against?

Anyone have a guess? Or better yet, a definitive answer?
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