BMHS PrideTime Reporter
This past week in our community, there has been an outbreak of money pools. These money pools are being spread by means of Snapchat Stories, Instagram posts, and word of mouth. This leaves students asking one thing: what is a money pool?
Money pools follow a simple format: there are spaces at the bottom of the pool for a given price, and that cash eventually makes its way to the top of the pool. The most popular pools going around have 15 people in them with eight spaces in the bottom row, so we’ll use those as an example. The people who bought the eight original spaces now “move up” in the pool (the pool splits off into new pools with the same amount of spaces). In order for these new pools to regain the missing spaces, the individuals who “moved up” now must sell the empty spaces and bring eight more people into each pool. In order for this to work and for the original 15 original individuals to make their money, they need to sell off 112 additional spaces.
Money pools were traditionally a money-saving technique that impoverished communities used to save up for large expenses or for a common cause. However, the money in the system often finds its way to one specific individual if manipulated correctly, better known as a pyramid scheme.
The reception of the widely varying student body is exactly that. Some are skeptical while others are cautiously optimistic. “I think that it’s a lot of suspicious people running it. I don’t think it’s very organized and I haven’t seen anyone get results.” Said Bret Rodgers ‘19. Students like Rodgers stay away from the money pools, which is smart in the eyes of the law.
Money pools are highly illegal, with pyramid scheme facilitators getting arrested for it today. Bernie Madoff is perhaps the most notable name who has been busted for running pyramid schemes, but other major firms such as Herbalife have been accused of running one.
It’s important to realize that the police take claims of money pools very seriously, and will not hesitate to investigate any alleged money pool. If you’re a McMahon student thinking about joining a money pool, all I ask is that you gather the facts before you do. It could be the difference-maker that saves you $50.