GRANDE PRAIRIE, A.B. – Mounties in Grande Prairie are advising the public about a new pyramid scheme that targets law-abiding citizens who police say usually have no idea they are breaking the law.

Constable Gabrielle Spencer with the RCMP said that the Gifting Pyramid Scheme usually targets groups of law-abiding women who are convinced to recruit their friends or acquaintances. New members have to pay their recruiter a $5,000 ‘gift’ to join. In turn, each member is expected to recruit eight new people so everyone can end up with $40,000. Recruiters try to legitimize the agreement payment by calling it a ‘birthday gift,’ a ‘transaction,’ or ‘a gifting circle’ and insist that the payment is not taxable or illegal because it’s only a gift.

“You might be reluctant to talk to police because your friends are involved or you feel ashamed but Grande Prairie RCMP needs your assistance in spreading the word to prevent people from being victimized,” said Cst. Spencer.

Anyone that has been involved with such a scam can report the matter to the Grande Prairie RCMP Detachment at 780-830-5700 and to the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre by calling 1-888-495-8501.