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Sometimes, life is like a box of cacao products

"Enrique Martinez didn't like chocolate, but he was eating as many as 10 pieces a day, drinking chocolate protein shakes and rubbing a chocolate-based skin cream on his face. It was expensive chocolate, too. Martinez and his wife, Michelle, were going through $2,000 in chocolate a month."
posted by reenum on Aug 16, 2014 - 29 comments

Nice pyramid you've got there, be a shame if something happened to it...

Pershing Square Capital's CEO Bill Ackman Takes On Herbalife. [more inside]
posted by spitbull on Dec 25, 2012 - 69 comments

"Everyone has pain. It's your job to find it."

Start a home business, get rich quick, win financial freedom! If you watch late-night TV, you've heard it all before. But what's the story behind these slick pitchmen and their dubious schemes? Enter The Salty Droid, your ornery metal guide to the corrupt underworld of scam-marketing scum. This charmingly acerbic bot (owned and operated by mild-mannered Chicago dog-lover Jason Michael Jones [inter-view, long talk + transcript]) is a valiant crusader against the vile con-men who bankrupt the elderly and the desperate with beautiful lies. Exposed so far: A shadowy "Syndicate" of frauduct-pushing personality cults polluting the media with blogspam and woo-woo talking points. Boiler rooms in the Utah desert where telemarketers farm credit from easy targets with cunning, probing scripts [PDF]. Powerful politicians bought wholesale. Believers left to die in fraudulent new-age vision quests. It's a soul-crushing beat, enough to make one feel like a regular catcher-bot in the digital rye. But somebody's got to do it -- preferably someone with plasma nunchucks and titanium skin.
posted by Rhaomi on Aug 31, 2011 - 47 comments

"Women Empowering Women".

"Women Empowering Women". This pyramid scheme is spreading like wildfire in the UK, with huge amounts of money involved. Basically you get a lot of people to put up say £100. The more people you attract to add money to the pyramid, the better chance you have of moving up and becoming entitled to many times your initial outlay. However, no investment occurs; this is simple cashflow juggling. Someone I work with gained £12000 on it in under a month - now everyone wants in the act. But (and I've pleaded with these people) the participants don't seem to appreciate the sheer idiocy of such schemes. Their attitude is "my husband goes to the betting shop, it's just my bit of fun". In the end, if you gain money, you're taking it directly from another participant. This is exploitation of people (normally hard-up, heavily mortgaged parents, it seems), is morally wrong and should be illegal - but it isn't in the UK. Here's a link to a BBC feature on pyramid schemes (aka trading schemes). This really boils my piss, but it carries on because individual participants can benefit from the fraud themselves. I understand women are targeted in this case as men are more likely to get in fights when they realise they've lost large amounts of cash.
posted by boneybaloney on May 3, 2002 - 18 comments

Herbalife to be bought for $685M.

Herbalife to be bought for $685M. Does anyone else find this disturbing given the information revealed in this previous thread?
posted by bkdelong on Apr 11, 2002 - 17 comments

The story behind the "Work From Home" signs

The story behind the "Work From Home" signs found all over major cities is a great bit of sleuthing facilitated by the internet. Armed with google and a phone, one guy slowly uncovered the latest MLM scam from Herbalife, and gets to the bottom of how they both shield themselves from wrongdoing, and how nearly impossible it is to make any money. This is personal site content at its very best. [via Cam]
posted by mathowie on Apr 1, 2002 - 33 comments

It's probably old news to most of you that Skybiz (which I am deliberately not linking) recently came under FTC scrutiny for being a pyramid scheme. What I'm wondering is: why is the original news article about it no longer on CNET News, and why can't I seem to find any more news about this scam? (Here's the cached Google copy of the news item.)

Coverup? Or just an "expired" article? (While we're here, anyone with firsthand feedback on Skybiz?)
posted by brownpau on Aug 1, 2001 - 1 comment


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