DAYTON — Better Business Bureau always warns if it sounds too-good-to true, it probably is. One local company soliciting in our area is a prime example. The Beavercreek company — Pay Nothing-Profit For Life — is sending mailings to Miami Valley residents claiming to offer the “Biz-Opp of a Lifetime.” It claims you can turn a one-time payment of $95 into $5000 per month. BBB says beware because what’s described in the offer models a pyramid/Ponzi scheme.
BBB recently received multiple inquiries about Pay Nothing-Profit for Life from potential customers. BBB staff examined the company’s advertisement provided by a consumer in July 2016. The advertisement describes how to enroll people in the program. Specifically, it indicates once a participant sends the company $95, the company will send them a confidential report that will spell out how the participant can turn a one-time payment into thousands of dollars. The advertisement states, “There is one requirement to join…you must be sponsored. Meaning, you cannot join unless someone refers you in. It’s exclusive & it’s limited. Which is also why you must order before the time limit. And, before you jump to conclusions, no, this has nothing to do with network marketing. Again, there is no monthly ordering or membership fees involved!”
BBB warns there are many red flags with this offer and the business model reflects a pyramid scheme. For instance…
• It’s a high-pressure pitch. You must act now because it’s a limited offer. Legitimate companies will give you time to do your research before you invest.
• Personal information is requested, such as a postdated check or credit card information, which opens the participant up to identity theft.
• The offer claims you can live the lavish lifestyle. The pitch says “Imagine Having A Money Spout That Pours Out Money Without Having to Lift A Finger.” If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
• It touts ways you can make hundreds and/or thousands of dollars with little effort and is short on facts and long on anecdotes of how many people have made a fortune with the plan.
Upon further investigation, BBB learned the company isn’t registered with the Ohio Secretary of State. BBB staff have also reached out to the company for additional information by mail and phone and have received no response. BBB has given the company an F rating. BBB rates companies from an A+ to an F, similar to the education system.
Keep in mind, pyramid sales schemes are illegal in all 50 states. In Ohio, the Anti-Pyramid Sales Law prohibits schemes which require consumers to pay a fee simply to obtain the right to recruit other investors. Generally, the only individuals to benefit from these promotions are those who initiate the program. According to the Ohio Anti-Pyramid Law, “Pyramid sales plan or program” is defined as any scheme whereby a person pays a consideration for the chance or opportunity to receive compensation under either of the following circumstances: (1) For introducing one or more persons into participation in the plan or program. (2) When another participant has introduced a person into participation in the plan or program. For further information about the Anti-Pyramid Sales Law, including penalties for its violation, contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at (800) 282-0515. Out-of-State consumers may wish to contact their State Attorney General for further information on Anti-Pyramid regulations in their state.
“Who wouldn’t want ‘to turn a one time payment of only $95 into $5000 over and over again’? The problem is if this plan were true why is the promoter sharing it with everyone instead of reaping the rewards by himself,” said John North, president and CEO of BBB serving Dayton and the Miami Valley, “Don’t fall for claims that you can ‘live a richer, better life’ by participating in these types of plans. If you really believe the claims are on the up and up, check them out with your BBB before investing. We are a simple click or phone call away. Visit bbb.org or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.”
Reach the BBB serving Dayton and the Miami Valley at (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.