High-yield investment programs (HYIPs) are unregistered investments created and touted by unlicensed individuals. Typically offered through slick (and sometimes not-so-slick) websites, HYIPs dangle the contradictory promises of safety coupled with high, unsustainable rates of return—20, 30, 100 or more percent per day—through vague or murky trading strategies. According to law enforcement cases, many operate as Ponzi schemes, using payments from today’s recruits to pay "interest payments" to yesterday’s investors or "referral" fees to those who recruit new members. The Federal Bureau of Investigation reported that the number of new investigations in this area during fiscal year 2009 increased 105 percent over fiscal year 2008.
HYIPs use an array of websites and social media (including YouTube, Twitter and Facebook ) to lure investors, fabricating a "buzz" and creating the illusion of social consensus, which is a common persuasion tactic fraudsters use to suggest that "everyone is investing in HYIPs, so they must be legitimate." Some of these sites purport to monitor and rank the "best" programs. Others tout "winning" HYIP investment strategies or provide a forum for trading tips on how to profit from HYIPs, even those suspected to be scams. Still others—such as the "Pathway to Prosperity" scheme in which investors on six continents allegedly lost $70 million—expressly caution investors against HYIP scams, using a form of reverse psychology to create the false impression that this HYIP is somehow different.
First of all you should never invest into any online program with money you aren’t prepared to lose. I’ve heard of people selling their cars or investing life savings, only to lose it all in the end. So don’t invest your life away on these high risk programs.
HYIP stands for High Yield Investment Program, a Ponzi-type program which promises an attractive rate of interest for a relatively short time investment. The typical period of a HYIP investment cycle is between 30 days and 60 days.
Why Do People Invest in an HYIP
There are two types of people involved in HYIP investments.
1) The quick in and out investor : This person is aware of the risks, expects the HYIP to disappear at any time and will invest his money as close as possible to the HYIP’s startup date in order that he can exit the program as quickly as possible.
2) The ignorant investor : This person is unaware of the risks, and invests based solely on the information presented to him or her on the website. No background check is done through HYIP monitors, Google searches or forums related to HYIP investments. These are the investors who stand to lose thousands of dollars.
Self disclosure: I lost 0.80 BTC in two investment sites promising high returns. This guide is for the #1 type of person mentioned above. If, after reading this guide, you choose to become the #2 type of person – you’ve been cautioned.
Personally I am against paying into these programs. They are based on deceit, false information and faked identities. Those who gamble their money knowing the site is a fraud, are making these websites profitable for those who operate them. These people don’t just operate one website. They return time and time again to continue under a different name. I would be alright with this if everybody that invested KNEW that they were investing into a scam. Unfortunately honest people who are unaware of the scam also end up suffering financial losses.
There are two basic websites when it comes to Ponzi’s. The first is the investing website which promises outrageous returns on investment. You might find the company representing itself as an IT firm, Bitcoin investment fund, real estate company, Forex trader or other financial institute. The second type of Ponzi site is what I call the ‘chain Ponzi’.
Chain Ponzi’s work much the way a chain letter works. One person invests money into the chain, another person follows and part of his investment goes to the first person in the chain.
Fred invests $100, John then invests $50. Fred receives $150 (his own investment plus 50% coming from John’s money).
John waits until Sam comes along and Sam invests $200. John then receives $75 (150% profit).
Sam then has to wait until Bob invests $50 and Mark invests $100. Sam receives $300 profit.
This is the chain in action. A new investor (or multiple investors) are needed to cover what is necessary to pay the last investor. Should new money stop flowing into the system, the Ponzi will fail. Bitcointalk forums advertise various forms of this type of Ponzi. As long as new money flows in, profit can be made.