An internet-based work-from-home pyramid scheme profits by selling memberships and products for resale.
The illustration above from Wikipedia shows how the need to continually recruit new members to stay afloat ultimately makes pyramid schemes unsustainable.
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CRIME: Scammers target students by King-oua Laohong
The Department of Special Investigation is warning people - and particularly students and new graduates - not to fall victim to pyramid schemes disguised as work-from-home job opportunities.
The warning was issued by DSI's Special Crime Director Col Piyawat Kingkate after he received a number of complaints about work-at-home and internet-based job opportunities claiming to offer a minimum income of over 10,000 baht a month for just a few hours of work each day.
According to Col Piyawat, these jobs are actually part of pyramid schemes, as victims are lured into paying 500 baht each for membership.
Their operators promise to return the sign-up fee if each member recruits two further members.
They also offer additional returns to members who buy or sell a certain amount of their products for resale.
Apart from being equivalent to pyramid schemes, these job offers are considered fraudulent under an executive decree on borrowing because the stated rate of financial returns exceeds the interest return ceiling available from financial institutions.
If found guilty, operators of the scam could face up to 10 years in jail, a fine of up to 1 million baht, and an additional daily fine of up to 10,000 baht for each day the scheme continues to run.
The DSI would like to warn new graduates seeking jobs to take careful consideration before accepting internet-based jobs because they may fall victim to companies running illicit businesses," said the special crime director.
He added that invitations to apply for these suspect jobs were typically sent to users of free webmail services such as Hotmail and Yahoo.
(Source: Bangkok Post, CRIME, Scammers target students, 4/04/2011, King-oua Laohong, link)
scheme - a plan for achieving something, especially something illegal or dishonest แผนการ (ที่มีท่าว่าจะผิดกฎหมาย)
pyramid schemes - a system for making money by recruiting more and more members who all contribute money until the whole system collapses and fails, "a non-sustainable business model that involves promising participants payment, services or ideals, primarily for enrolling other people into the scheme or training them to take part, rather than supplying any real investment or sale of products or services to the public. Pyramid schemes are a form of fraud" (See Wikipedia)
scam - a dishonest plan for getting money เล่ห์อุบาย
victim - someone who has been harmed, injured or killed as the result of a crime เหยื่อผู้เคราะห์ร้าย
X falls victim to Y - X is injured or hurt by Y
target - to deliberately try to attack someone or something, to cause injury to them
disguised - identity is hidden, don't know who or what it really is
opportunities - benefits or profit that it is possible to get, situations in which it is possible to do what you want or need to do
issued - made available ออกใหม่
complaints - when people say there is something wrong and they want it changed
income - money that people receive from work or some other source, used for household consumption and savings
victims - people who are killed injured or harmed in some way from an accident, natural disaster, crime, etc.
lure - invite, entice, delude, deceive, hoodwink, tempt, seduce, allure ล่อหลอก, หลอกล่อ, ล่อลวง, ลวง, ตุ๋น, ลวงล่อ, หลอก, ล่อให้หลง ล่อใจ, ทำให้อยากกระทำ, ชวนให้อยากได้, ชวนให้อยากรู้
operators - businesses doing this business
sign-up fee - the money you must pay to join some organization, to become a member of the organization, membership fee
recruits - new members of an organization, people who have joined the organization recently สมาชิกใหม่
operators - companies that offer mobile phone service (for example: AIS, DTAC, Orange)
fee - an amount of money that you pay to be allowed to do something ค่าธรรมเนียม, ค่าตอบแทน, ค่าบริการ
returns - profit (money you make by doing some business or making an investment)
equivalent - the same as เท่าเทียมกันกับ
fraudulent - dishonest and illegal, made with the intention of tricking someone, especially illegally การฉ้อโกง
decree - an official order or decision made by the ruler of a country
executive decree - an official order or decision made by the chief executive of the country (the Prime Minister)
stated rate of financial returns - the money that the company says you will get (which may not be the same as the money you actually get)
rate - the level or speed at which something happens or changes, or the amount or number of times it happens or changes in a particular period อัตรา
interest - payments made for the use of another's money for a period of time
ceiling - an upper limit เพดาน ขีดจำกัด
interest return ceiling - the highest interest rate that can be paid
institutions - large and important organizations, such as universities or banks สถาบัน
financial institutions - banks and other companies similar to banks
found guilty - having been decided by a court of law that you committed the crime your were accused of มีความผิด
guilty - proven to have committed a crime มีความผิด
scam - an illegal trick with the purpose of getting money from people, a dishonest plan, especially for getting money กลโกง, แผนร้าย
fine - an amount of money that you have to pay because you have broken the law ค่าปรับ
consideration - giving careful thought to something before making a decision
illicit - against the law ผิดกฎหมาย
invitations - written or spoken requests asking someone to do something with you คำเชิญ
job application - the filling out of forms and presentation of resume to a company that you want to work at, in order to convince them to hire you (See Wikipedia) การสมัครงาน
apply for a job - the process of filling out and officially submitting a job application (in order to get the job you want)
suspect - to believe that something is true, especially something bad สงสัย
suspect (adjective) - to believe that something bad is true about something เป็นที่สงสัยว่า
typically - usually; normally อย่างเป็นแบบฉบับ
services - บริการต่างๆ things produced in service industries, not a physical good that can be bought, a waitress and a cook in a restaurant provide a service, technically: a sequence of activities that does not result in ownership of the outcome (See Wikipedia on services and the goods and services continuum)