The Tunisian Financial Analysis Commission has recently noted the development of the activity of “pyramid selling” by companies established in Tunisia or abroad.
This activity also called “snowballing sale” or “chain letters” promises significant gains in a very short time.
The modus operandi of these companies is to “recruit” people called “participants” who, upon payment of registration fees to the company, are expected to sell on behalf of the company services or products offered by the company.
However, such participants are actually directed at an attractive remuneration to recruit others in addition to the existing members. The last recruited in turn bring new money as registration fee, part of which will be paid to their sponsors to build their loyalty.
This sponsorship system involves the establishment of a network that will agglomerate a number of growing members who in turn become sponsors and so on.
Thus, the source of remuneration of the network’s members comes exclusively from membership fees paid by new members and not the sale of products or services.
The most common ways for recruitment to this type of activity are basically Internet and particularly social networks where these companies lead members to believe in fast enrichment by distributing ads on astronomical salaries or “false” testimonies of members having earned fortunes by this system.
These pyramid selling companies lead the public to believe that they are involved in a marketing network. But in fact no goods or service will underpin this activity.
The only remuneration paid to members only comes from funds paid by newcomers and this process continues until new recruitments are possible. When it collapses, members typically lose their entire original bet, often, for the benefit of the initiator and his accomplices.
Several countries such as France, Canada and Morocco have banned pyramid selling and planned criminal sanctions on those who engage in this activity that hides real scams allowing in some cases, money laundering and in most cases loss of funds placed upon membership.
In the absence of provisions in the national legislation likely to protect individuals from such activity, we notify the public about the risk of meeting the offers of these companies and / or people to join them.