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People warned about Flower/Leaf pyramid scheme circulating on social media

The scheme appears to be particularly targeting students and younger people.

The suspected scheme is reported to be using the image of a flower to entice people.
The suspected scheme is reported to be using the image of a flower to entice people.
Image: CCPC

THE PUBLIC IS being warned about a potential pyramid scheme called the ‘Flower/Leaf’ which is circulating on social media channels in Ireland.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) is warning consumers not to engage with the scheme, which appears to be particularly targeting students and younger people. 

The watchdog said it has been contacted by consumers who have been invited to take part in what they suspect is a pyramid scheme, in which they were encouraged to make an initial investment of €150 and then recruit others to invest.

“They were told that once they recruited more people they would move to the next tier of the model. This supposedly continues until the participant reaches the centre of the model and makes a return on their investment,” the CCPC said.

The particular scheme currently being reported uses the image of a flower and may refer to flowers or petals. It appears that this scheme is targeting students and young people.

Pyramid schemes have existed in many guises for decades. The model works by offering people the opportunity to buy into the scheme and this money then goes to the person above them in the pyramid.

Participants are told they can recoup their investments by recruiting new members to join the scheme below them. Inevitably, the supply of investors runs out, the scheme collapses and the majority of people involved lose their money.

Talking to Neil Prendeville on Cork’s RedFM today a woman shared her experience of being scammed and warned others to be careful.

“Everyone was on about and said they were making money,” she explained.

I didn’t really have €150 to spare, but I chanced it anyway – I didn’t look into it properly or research it. Obviously I sent the money in and it just died, no one was doing it anymore it just stopped.

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“I did contact PayPal about it but I don’t know if they can do anything about it. I reached out to the girl who I sent the money to but she actually blocked me and is avoiding me,” she added.

Pyramid schemes are illegal and those who knowingly participate in them are liable for prosecution. 

The CCPC said it is currently investigating this scheme and is warning consumers not to engage with it.

The watchdog urged anyone who is approached to join any kind of pyramid scheme to contact it immediately through its website or its helpline (01 402 5555).

About the author:

Ceimin Burke

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