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Chain letters & pyramid schemes

Chain letters and pyramid schemes are some of the oldest scams going around. They can cost a lot of people money, as they spread like a virus. People who become involved in these scams can only make money by scamming other people.

Pyramid schemes and chain letters are often promoted by people you know and trust, but who may not realise that they are taking part in an illegal scam.

These scams are often very easy to spot and avoid if you know what to look for.


Chain letter scams falsely promise financial or other benefits for a relatively small cost.

Illegal schemes that always collapse when the supply of victims dries up, leaving nearly everyone involved much worse off.

Similar scams:

Scammers ‘guarantee’ you a job or certain level of income, tricking you into paying an up-front fee for a ‘business plan’ or materials.

There are a range of scams marketed as business opportunities. They promise success but usually only the promoter makes any money.

Employment opportunities that promise huge incomes with little work – usually by asking you to transfer money for someone else or recruit new victims.

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