Coquitlam B.C. Mounties issue warning about illegal ‘Gifting Circle’ scam

Close-up of assorted Canadian paper currency. File Photo

RCMP in Coquitlam are warning people about a new pyramid scheme that may be targeting women.

“One of the ways this scheme is presented is that it’s not illegal and everything is above board, which of course is your first clue that something might be amiss,” said Corporal Michael McLaughlin.

He says a recruiter asks the victim for a $5,000 gift to join and the victim is then expected to recruit eight more people who bring $5,000, so everybody is supposed to make $40,000.

“This is an unusual scam in that it’s very much targeting women who would otherwise be law-abiding, who have jobs and have money,” added McLaughlin.

“It’s presented as something that’s friends helping friends or women helping women. It’s often called a Gifting Circle but the reality is that these recruiters are doing something illegal by running a pyramid scheme.”

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He says they are finding people caught up in this who have no idea it’s illegal.

He says they’ve heard rumours about it for a couple of months, but now members of the public are calling them to complain about it.

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