I hate scams. I especially hate scams that seem to exclusively target women, with a particular emphasis on mothers who are looking for extra money.

Yes, I’m talking about MLMs. MLM (or multi-level marketing) is a common scam where you’ll be approached about a “great business opportunity” to sell makeup, or candles, or coffee that gives people diarrhoea.

The promise if you sign up – and pay them a fee of £50 or more – is that you’ll make money. What you don’t hear about, is the big bonus your upline (that “friend” who said she loved your makeup and thinks you’d be perfect for shilling £23 mascara and £30 foundation) will get for signing you up. She’ll also receive a cheque every time you sell something.

That is, if you ever do sell something. In the US, a study by the Federal Trade Commission found that 99% of people who sign up to an MLM lose money.

Even the girl who used to bully you at school who convinced you to sign up is probably losing money at it. The people making money through this pyramid scheme are sat in an office in Utah laughing at you. I promise.

Anyway, that was quite a rant. Here’s my further reading post for May 2019, and it’s MLM themed.

BBC Three’s Ellie Undercover: Secrets of the Multi-Level Millionaires

This is a programme available on BBC iPlayer, it’s amazing. I’m so glad something so mainstream was made about MLMs. They hear from scam victims, people who are actually making money from MLMs and attempt to speak to those Utah billionaires.

Please watch it, and get as many friends as possible to too. Especially those who might be vulnerable to the predatory tactics MLMs explicitly tell members to use.

The Dream podcast

I listened to this podcast at the tail end of last year. Although American based, it goes into the history of MLMs in a really interesting way.

All the episodes are out now, and unlike Ellie’s documentary, they actually get to talk to the PR machine behind a few MLMs. Let me know what you think!

Sounds like MLM but okay Facebook group

You know when a #bossbabe online posts a picture of their new car and goes “I did this, you can too, comment for more info”? You now no longer need to comment and wait for a PM me hun reply, just tag this group.

People share their craziest screenshots of what the MLMs are up to, as well as providing support for ex members, and sharing stories.

Liked this? You may enjoy my other rant in Why women (including me) don’t invest.

Nominate me!

One final note – if you enjoy my posts in any way, I’d really appreciate being nominated for a SHOMO award. The categories I think I have the best chance of getting shortlisted for are Best New Blog and Best Personal Finance Blog for Bronni.co.uk, and Best Specialist Blog for BeautyMarkdown.co.uk.

You can nominate me here – until the 1st of June 2019.

 
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