Cagey Consumer

Pyramid Fraud: What Every Person Should Know

Scams like "Pentagono" give the deaf community a black eye
by Rob Voreck

Originally published on the web in Deaf Nation at www.deafnation.com/news/stories/pentagono.html.
Recently, a friend of mine showed me what was supposedly a "can't miss" scheme to get rich. All a person would have to do is "invest" $120 in order to potentially gain in excess of $120,000. That $120 would be divided up into three equal amounts of $40 each, with one payment made to a "Chamber of Commerce certified" business in Italy, another $40 to "purchase" a certificate, and yet another $40 to the person named at the top of the certificate itself. Briefly working as a Private Investigator in the state of Arizona, I recalled the words of my former boss, who said,

"The key to any project, ANY project, is to research, research, RESEARCH."

With that, I went ahead to research the worthiness of the Pentagono system. A simple check on the internet gave me numerous sites, both informal and formal, gave me the needed proof that the Pentagono financial system was nothing more than a financial scam, designed to rip off the hard-earned money of people across not only the United States, but across the world.

I was rather upset at reviewing my friend's Pentagono certificates.

Several of the names on the certificates were those of people whom I consider to be my friends and peers. But then, I had to tell myself that I couldn't blame those people on the list; after all, they were just out looking to make an easy buck the way most of us would like to. What was even more upsetting to me was the realization that this isn't something new. Pyramid schemes and scams have been around for centuries. An American by the name of Ponzi was the creator of the modern pyramid rip-off. He would convice people to invest in a business that required investors to recruit new investors. Ponzi would then pay off the old investors with money from the new investors in order to make it look like there was a vast fortune to be made. Unfortunately, as anyone can see, sooner or later, there would not be any new investors and those who invested their money too late into the scheme would find themselves losers while those who jumped on the bandwagon at the start would make a good sum of money. This is what happens in the Pentagono system.

According to one site on the internet, if a person who joins Pentagono at the seventh level, that person would have to make sure that FIFTEEN BILLION people joined Pentagono in order to make the promised profit of over $120,000. What's funny is that the world currently has no more than FIVE BILLION people.

Joining that late, at that level, guarantees ZERO profit. The only people who make a profit, if ANY profit, are those who joined at the start and are skilled at convincing people to join. This is another fact that disappoints me. Several of the people named at the top of the Pentagono list I have seen (along with other pyramid schemes that I have noticed in the past) are those who are very intelligent, educated, and gifted at public speaking. It's a pity that those deaf people would use their remarkable skills only to sucker other deaf people out of their money in order to further their own finances.

For a person to take advantage of their own cultural group is something that I find to be utterly shameful. Again, let me emphasize that the Pentagono system is nothing more than a rip-off. If you should receive any kind of mailing from this system, I strongly suggest that you simply throw it away.

My research on Pentagono has shown that it is now currently under police and legal investigation for fraud in the countries of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Great Britain. Even though Pentagono claims to be certified by a "Chamber of Commerce" in Italy, I have discovered that ANY business can be certified simply by paying a fee whether the business may be legal or not.

Pentagono also claims to be 100% legal. I would ask, "Legal in which country?" Despite the fact that Pentagono is legal in Italy, it most certainly is not legal in the United States. In fact, according to the laws of the United States, attempting to recruit new members into this and any other pyramid scam by using mail is MAIL FRAUD, punishable by a fine and possibly a jail sentence, along with other possible violations of the law.

If more and more members of the deaf community identify and refuse to join scams such as Pentagono then maybe, just maybe, those deaf people who are out there trying to get another "sucker" to join will quit the business and make the best use of their skills and talents in advancing the rights of deaf people rather than stealing their money. Be aware that there ARE other scams out there other than Pentagono. Some have names such as Joker 88 and so forth. Only good research will tell you if an "investment" plan is legal or  not. Keep in mind these important rules when considering an "investment" plan:

(Rob Voreck is a former Private Investigator who occasionally writes articles of interest for the deaf community. If you would like more information or would like to know the sources used for this article, please send email to robvoreck@uswest.net.)
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Updated March 14, 1999