The Better Business Bureau of Mississippi has issued a warning about jewelry pyramid schemes.

Local Better Business Bureaus are reporting an increase in complaints about illegal multilevel marketing scams knows as pyramid schemes, said Harold Palmer, president of the Better Business Bureau of Mississippi.

Pyramid schemes promise quick profits through selling the right to recruit other people into the scheme, rather than selling a product.

In particular, Better Business Bureaus have received complaints about companies soliciting consumers to sell fine jewelry and collectible products. The people who sign up are encouraged to sell to investors who buy in, sell more merchandise and, in turn, sign others up.

People looking into marketing opportunities should investigate carefully before investing, Palmer said.

In addition to being illegal, pyramid schemes run dry very quickly, Palmer said.

"As the pyramid grows exponentially, some early investors do make money, but as the pool of participants grows, those at the bottom are left holding the bag, having spent money for the right to sell and having no one to sell to," Palmer said.

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