According to Wikipedia, a High Yield Investment Program (aka HYIP) is …
A high-yield investment program (HYIP) is a type of Ponzi scheme, which is an investment scam that promises an unsustainably high return on investment by paying previous investors with the money invested by newcomers.
Ok, yet another scam – so what?
Well, there’s a few spam emails going about currently that sounds like a big one. People will get hurt so it’s my duty to warn you all!
Spam like this one:
I would like to introduce the Investment Committee.
I represent Prosperity Organization that is committed to provide with life changing returns and services. Investment programs can bring you no risk
interest to pay of your mortgage
If you are interested, please visit: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bevetutabykax90/message/1
[OR EVEN: Ed.] http://groups.yahoo.com/group/fujuxoryfymyg58/message/1
One thing about working in the IT industry for so long (especially working with email systems) has taught me is NEVER BUY PRODUCTS/SERVICES MARKETED BY SPAM, especially if
- you get several copies of the same spam
- especially if they mention ‘God’
- especially if the website owner claims to be from your town, but the domain name/website is registered/hosted in Hong Kong
- ESPECIALLY if the website offers an ‘Affiliate Program’ (ie, they let you do the spamming for them!).
Now, I’m sure that there is a God-fearing lady called Marta, and there may even be one in Baltimore with two kids, but I’m absolutely certain that this isn’t her. It’s much more likely to beÂ Fred Milto (FredMilto@gmail.com), a "Private Person" in New York, 10017 - at least that's who the domain name is registered to.
Of course, Fred (Aka Marta) may not be the owner of this mess – they’re likely to be affiliates and the real scammers ground zero are CherryShares.com
Anyway, I don’t have the time or the resources to investigate this one further, but if anyone knows more or has tried this particular scam, let me know.
The FTC and others have been issuing warnings for years about this scam – here’s one just in case you still don’t believe me From the SEC
and here’s a snippet
Signs of Banking-Related Investment Fraud
Below are warning signs of prime bank or other fraudulent bank-related investment schemes.
Excessive Guaranteed Returns
These fraudulent investment pitches typically offer or guarantee spectacular returns of 20 to 200 percent monthly, absolutely risk free. Promises of unrealistic returns at no risk are hallmarks of prime bank fraud.
I was alerted to a website called HYIPExplorer (http://www.hyipexplorer.com), who acknowledge that HYIPs are high risk investments but with high potential returns. They know there are a lot of scammers out there and provide a forum for people to rate and investigate these notoriously mercurial entities. If you are ever convinced to try HYIPs, please visit them and do A LOT OF RESEARCH BEFORE SENDING ANYONE ANY MONEY!!!