SALEM, OR (KPTV) – The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Service (DCBS) and Oregon Division of Financial Regulation (DFR) are warning about an illegal gifting club scheme that has scammed several people.
DCBS says the Death Row gifting club, not associated with Death Row Records, was operating in the state last year and was advertised on social media and in online forums as a community wealth share group. More than 20 people in the state lost their initial $1,400 investments, according to DCBS.
“The Death Row gifting scheme promised financial returns of at least $9,000. The division was alerted to the scheme when an Oregonian reported not receiving anything in return for their $1,400 investment. The investment was not registered with the division and no one was licensed to sell investments in Death Row. Victims invested their money using a cloud-based payment platform and communicated with others about the investment during online forums for the Death Row program,” DCBS said in a release.
DFR is continuing to investigate the Death Row gift club. Anyone who has information about the scheme or was a victim of it are asked to contact the Division of Financial Regulation Advocacy team toll-free at 888-877-4894.
Gifting club schemes are similar to pyramid schemes because no new money is created, according to DCBS. Members of the scheme encourage friends, family, and co-workers to give gifts of cash to higher ranking members, and the only way for a person to recover the initial investment is to bring new members into the scheme, DCBS explained.
DFR has tips to spot an illegal gifting scheme:
- Promises of cash, gifts, or electronic payments via mail, email, or social media
- The primary focus is to recruit new investors – no goods or services are being sold
- No written agreements and the promoters boast about high earnings of a few people
Anyone who spots a gifting scheme or believes they are a victim of one can contact Division of Financial Regulation’s consumer advocacy team at 888-877-4894, email email@example.com, or by visiting dfr.oregon.gov.
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