Hugh Pickens writes "While it's probably not true that P. T. Barnum was the originator of the saying 'there's a sucker born every minute,' the proliferation of nearly 23,000 Ponzi schemes on YouTube, with an astounding 59,192,963 views, proves that the sentiment is still alive and well. The videos usually don't ask for money directly, but send viewers to web sites where they are urged to sign up for the 'gifting program,' usually for fees ranging from $150 to $5,000. One of the videos recently added on YouTube featured Bible quotes, pictures of stacks of money and a testimonial from a man who said he not only got rich from cash gifting, but also found true happiness and lost 35 pounds. 'They make it seem like it's legal and an easy way to make money, but it's nothing more than a pyramid scheme,' says Better Business Bureau spokeswoman Alison Southwick. Some of the videos claim that because it's 'gifting,' it's somehow legal. 'They talk about "cash leveraging," whatever that means, and other vague marketing talk,' says Southwick, but the basic scheme is that participants are told to recruit more people who will put in more money. 'It's just money changing hands,' says Southwick, 'and it always goes to people at the top of the pyramid.' A spokesman for YouTube, which is owned by Google Inc., said the company doesn't comment on individual videos."
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