HYIP scams stand for High Yield Investment Scams and are similar to Ponzi schemes that involve promises of high returns by using new investors money to pay previous investors.
These types of investment scams have existed for many years, however they have flourished in recent years due to the Internet providing easy access to millions of people around the world, and electronic currency.
The availability of digital money has made it easy for the owners of HYIP scams to accept payments from people worldwide.
Some digital money companies took steps to prevent their system being used for HYIPs, which led to some HYIPs starting their own digital money businesses. These companies folded and included OSGold, V-Money, EvoCash and INTGold.
People are attracted to HYIP schemes due to the claims of high returns [sometimes 30-50% a month] for no effort. Just give them your money, and they will make money for you while you sleep!
They usually start with a website offering an investment program that offers a very high return. These returns may be in the order of 6% a day or 50% a month.
They usually provide no details of how the money will be invested, or if they do, they use vague references to trading on the stock exchanges. There is usually no detailed information about the company, its location, or management details.
They may claim to trade or use so-called 'prime' bank, 'prime' European bank or 'prime' world bank financial instruments, or other 'high yield investment programs.
Some of the HYIP scams have occurred on a large scale such as the OSGold [the largest document HYIP scam] which folded in 2002 and according to the lawsuit in 2005, the operators took over USD 250 million. People were taken in by the 'guaranteed returns' of 46% a month.
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