9 signs Multi-Level Marketing MLM Opportunity is actually a 2×2 2×3 pyramid scheme / matrix / board / scam

Here are five “nevers” you should heed when it comes to detecting bull****, either from the opportunity, or from its promoter.

NEVER take ANY positive reviews at face value

In a pseudo-MLM scam, which requires people to recruit, people already in the scam will say ANYTHING to score another recruit, which increases his/her chance of “cycling out” and get his/her big money. Thus, they cannot be relied to give unbiased reviews.

If you see a review that says good things about the opportunity, then that reviewer at the end cheerfully wants to recruit you, you should consider the review “tainted”.

Similarly, a review should do just that: review the opportunity at hand. If the reviewer switches to sales mode at the end, and tries to sell you “secrets to MLM success” or such, the reviewer cannot be trusted either. It is fine if he use the last sentence or two to mention his secret sauce (that’s a joke), but if he reviewed the stuff in one paragraph, then spent the rest of the review trying to convince you that you need his secret sauce, the review itself is a fraud, as he’s just out there to get you to look at his “secrets”, not really reviewing the stuff. I call those “weasel reviews”.

NEVER trust a reviewer who uses logical fallacies

Logical fallacies are basically saying 1+1=3, but in words. Here is an example:

1) BizA pays real money

2) Paying real money = not scam


3) BizA is not scam

This is a logical fallacy because 2) is NOT always true. A pyramid scheme or a Ponzi scheme can pay money for a while, but they are definitely scams. Thus, the conclusion 3) is not true, or at least, not proven by the evidence given.

You can find a list of logical fallacies at logicalfallacies.info

Any reviewer who had to resort to logical fallacies to support his/her statements is doing a horrible job. You can find some examples of this in my “review of reviews”

NEVER trust any one who don’t answer lawful concerns

The first thing you should worry about any sort of MLM is whether it is really a pyramid scheme. As explained before, pyramid schemes can be well disguised in buzzwords cloaked by dollar signs. It is also illegal, and a misdemeanor in most states, even for minor amounts. If your recruiter cannot or will not answer questions about why is this thing legal, you should be VERY wary.

Keep in mind that some scammers and uplines, desperate for more recruits, have resorted to inventing definitions of pyramid scheme, in order to “prove” that the scam is not a pyramid scheme. This is known as ‘strawman argument’, and is a type of logical fallacy. Remember the basic definition of pyramid scheme: get paid for just recruiting other members, who are ALSO expected to do the same. For those who know Star Trek, it’s like being assimilated by the Borg. You are turned into a Borg who will go out there to assimilate others, turning them into Borg as well. Real MLM business sell things or service to people. Pseudo-MLM scams just recruit people into their pyramid.

Search for your local law’s definition of pyramid scheme, Ponzi scheme, endless chain scheme, or whatever name your local authorities use, and see for yourself if your alleged opportunity fits that definition, and how your recruiter explains that it does NOT.

NEVER trust any one who told you to avoid negative information

Any sort of information have two sides to the same story. A “review” of an opportunity will be good or bad. As we have explained earlier that good reviews cannot be trusted, esp. if it is followed by a recruiting call. Negative reviews would tell you a lot more about the opportunity than a “good” review would ever say.

And if your recruiter tell you to ignore any negative information you found, you should be REALLY wary, because you cannot be sure what is his/her motivation for saying so. Some have been taught to ignore negative thoughts so they cannot “contaminate” their positive attitude, which is needed for success. That is just psychobabble, as no amount of positive thinking can protect you from reality. Yet others are willing to engage in deceit just so he/she can “cycle out” and get the pay out before the whole scam collapses.

Confront your recruiter with the negative reviews, and ask him or her about the points made, and how are they being addressed. And don’t take bull**** for answers.

NEVER trust people who make up information as they go along

A real company would have answered any major concerns, such as legal questions, and the concerns raised for those 9 signs earlier. In fact, most companies become advocare distributor would have a “compliance officer” to make sure the company complies with all applicable laws.

If your recruiter can’t answer the question, or if the company have yet to answer any of these questions, and they are very obvious, then the company may be shady, and do not want to complicate their lies by lying some more.

A certain international scam refuse to acknowledge any questions about their legitimacy, and let its members make up explanations as they go along, resulting in two layers of lies: one by the company itself, another by its members, and it sometimes is hard to separate the two. A legitimate company would have answered the concerns itself. A scammer would leave it up to their members to cover for them.


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