If you have social media accounts, you might have seen the “Blessing Loom,” which promises $800 in a matter of days, but state officials warn residents not to fall for it.
Attorney General William Tong and Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle Seagull are putting out a warning to avoid pyramid schemes showing up on social media, especially now during the COVID-19 public health crisis.
With many businesses closed to help prevent the spread of the virus, thousands of Connecticut residents are out of work and state officials do not want them to be paying out large sums of money to wind up with nothing in return.
While pyramid schemes go by various names, they said, the “Blessing Loom” is prevalent now and participants are asked to wire $100 to start at the outside of the “loom” and they are told that as they recruit more paying participants who recruit more participants, players move closer to the center “payout.”
However, state officials warn, the majority of people lose their money as participation in the scheme dwindles.
“The Blessing Loom is a new name for an old scam. Upfront payments and recruitment requirements are hallmark signs of a pyramid scheme. Don’t believe the pitch. Nearly every participant ends up losing their money. Scammers are seeking to capitalize on unprecedented unemployment and anxiety caused by COVID-19. Steer clear of these get rich quick frauds,” Tong said in a statement.
Seagull emphasized that if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
"We know that in times of hardship it can be tempting to give in to these offers, but we encourage families to take a step back, and recognize the signs of a scam. Unfortunately, in times like this - scammers will try to take advantage of our fears - don't let them, and contact us if you see anything suspicious," Seagull added.
To report a scam or fraud, call the Office of the Attorney General at 860-808-5318 or file a complaint with the office at https://www.dir.ct.gov/ag/complaint, or contact the Department of Consumer Protection by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org at 860-713-6300 or file a complaint with the department or visiting https://ct.gov/dcp/complaint.