Legitimate trading schemes rely on valuable goods and services, while illegal pyramid schemes focus simply on recruiting more and more investors. Illegal Pyramids vs. Legal Multilevel Multi Level Marketing VS Pyramid Scheme Investopedia timelines. Yet, both pyramid and Ponzi schemes are illegal because they inevitably must fall apart. No program can recruit new members forever. The scheme requires a person to recruit two others, who must each recruit two others, and so on. At the Commission, we bring cases against pyramid schemes under the FTC Act, which broadly prohibits "unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce. Members in the the banking or financial sector can help law enforcement agencies in several ways. Pyramid schemes make their money from fees paid by new recruits or by loading inventory or training aids on them. Joining the MLM is the only reason anyone would buy the products sold by this pyramid scheme. Many pyramid schemes will claim that their product is selling like hot cakes. The company lost the suit in , and lost appeal in June Another variant, "Treasure Traders", variously used gemology terms such as "polishers", "stone cutters", etc. While often confused for each other, Pyramid schemes and Ponzi schemes are different from each other. A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions. Organizers can further profit by starting a scheme with a queue with shill names that must be cleared out before genuine people get to the front. In the s, Nu Skin was investigated by the FTC and the states of Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan. Another variant, "Treasure Traders", variously used gemology terms such as "polishers", "stone cutters". Advance-fee scam Art student scam Badger game Bait-and-switch Black money scam Blessing scam Bogus escrow Boiler room Bride scam Bullet-planting scheme Charity fraud Clip joint Web ganes game Coin rolling scams Drop swindle Embarrassing cheque Employment scams Extraterrestrial real estate Roulette live online tool game Fine print Foreclosure rescue scheme Foreign exchange fraud Fortune telling fraud Gas leak phone call scam Gem scam Get-rich-quick scheme Green goods scam Hustling Initial illegal pyramid scheme offering Intellectual property scams Kansas City Shuffle Long firm Miracle cars scam Mock auction Moving scam Patent safe Pig in a poke Pigeon drop Priority Development Assistance Fund scam Pump and dump Reloading scam Rent-a-car scam Salting Shell game Sick baby hoax Slavery reparations scam Spanish Prisoner Strip search phone call scam Swampland in Florida Technical support scam Telemarketing fraud Thai tailor scam Thai zig zag scam Three-card Monte Trojan horse White van speaker scam Work-at-home scheme. This article needs additional citations for verification. Some multi-level marketing plans have been classified as pyramid schemes.