BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (WJW) — Police in California are warning Americans of a scam that has surfaced online.
The scam is a game known as the “Circle Game,” “Mandala Game,” “Blessing Circle” or “Loom Circle.”
Police say the scheme involves a group where each person pays an “entry fee” to join.
As new members join the game, the original members are told they will get payouts from the money of the new members. The most recent version of this scam promises an $800 return for a $100 investment.
In order to make money, new people constantly have to be recruited into the circle. In order for the first eight people to be paid, 64 new people have to buy in. In order for those 64 people to be paid, 512 people have to buy in, and so the process continues.
Bakersfield police say the system eventually collapses and all those involved lose money.
Authorities reiterate that not only will participants lose money, but that activities like this are also illegal in the US and many other countries.
If you are invited to play this game, you should decline and alert your local authorities.
Bakersfield police also remind citizens to be safe and always use caution when online.