Crime

The only blessing in a Blessing Loom is for the scammer

The Blessing Loom, heavily shared on social media, sounds like a way to make some Christmas money fast. But if you join it, you won’t be blessed at all.

It’s a scam.

The Blessing Loom is a pyramid scheme much like the Sister Secret scam that became popular last year and is still around.

A Blessing Loom offers the chance to win $800 for a one-time payment of $100 using a PayPal account. Your name fills a space outside the loom, and you’re told to recruit others to fill in the other spaces. Once you advance and it’s your turn to be in the center, you receive the money. Or so the scam claims.

Charles Ponzi didn’t invent his eponymous pyramid scheme — but he lent star power to one of the oldest scams in the book. He also believed that his plan could have become a legitimate business.

The scam has several related names.

It’s nothing more than an illegal Ponzi scheme, state Attorney General Jim Hood said in an alert issued Thursday.

“The only reason they keep circulating online is because the people who have paid money into a scheme are desperately recruiting others in hopes they can get their money back,” Hood said.

“These pyramid schemes always collapse, and I hate that some people in our state would risk losing their money, especially this close to Christmas.”

It’s illegal to participate in one of these schemes in Mississippi. You could be fined up to $500 and spend up to six months in prison.

The U.S. Postal Service describes these schemes as “high-tech chain letters,” Hood said.

It’s a federal crime to use the Postal Service at any time during the schemes to mail chain letters that ask for money or something of value and promise something in return, he said.

Also, using Facebook or PayPal to participate in a pyramid scheme violates their terms of service.

Doing without PayPal is one thing. But Facebook?

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

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