Javajune's Blog

Someone once said… “Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live.”

Gifting Circle Madness

velvet-sofaHappy New Year Sofa Diary readers. I thought I would break into your regularly scheduled confessions to talk a little about a hot topic here on Javajune’s blog. Some time ago I posted my confession about being tempted to join a gifting circle of friends and since then we’ve had a confession from a woman who joined a gifting circle in her area.  I would like to open the floor (sofa) up for questions, comments and truths about these groups that seem to be popping up everywhere across the country right now. We have had comments for and against their existence on the two previous posts.

For those of you who don’t have clue about Gifting Circles the following is a brief description of how they work. Of course it is my take on the matter and I myself am not involved in one, so if I misspeak please feel free to correct me. Gifting Circles involve a group of people who come together for the soul purpose of  making money and friends. Each member contributes a sum of money, 5k seems to be popular, and the person in the receiver postion collects all the money. Then new blood is brought in with their money and the next person in line collects the dough. It could take months, weeks or even years for you to collect depending on how quickly your group gets new members and where you are in the circle.

I have been told it is an illegal pyramid scheme by some and that is not illegal or a pyramid scheme by others. This topic is one of the most hit-on subjects on my blog and generates a lot of controversial discussion and comments. Feel free to throw your 2 cents or 5k in (just kidding) and tell us what you know or think about the matter. The tough economic times and lousy stock market seem to generating a few new money making ideas out there. I have to admit that it all sounds very enticing but mostly just interesting.


January 9, 2009 - Posted by | confessions, me, should be illegal | , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. I know nothing about them but as the tough economic times hit I expect to see more innovative scams rise to the top. Legal or not it does seem suspicious to me. I can totally see myself getting taken for a ride. And I just can’t do it.

    I would love to see some more of the inside scoop to all of this. You’re stirring the pot JJ.

    Comment by Ricardo | January 9, 2009

  2. Sounds very fishy to me. Is there any wording about what happens if the next round of “friend” cannot be tempted to join? Does that mean you’re out 5K? Sounds like a very risky proposition…

    Comment by SoMi's Nilsa | January 9, 2009

  3. …sorry to say, but i get the impression that this is exactly the type of thing (on a smaller scale) that Madoff is in trouble for (if you don’t know him, search engines will be full of news about him!)…pyramid scheme to the highest power…

    Comment by libby | January 9, 2009

  4. These are not illegal, I am a cop & there is nothing much we as cops can do. Sorry, but thats the truth!

    Comment by Jenny | January 11, 2009

  5. My sister was on here talking about a gifting circle she joined, and her boss helped her join, she has since been let go from her job. The ecomonic times are though, but her boss helped her join my giving her money and now she had to be let go. I’m sure her boss feels terrible. I know she hasnt been back on here due to no internet access. She is from the MI area and has 3 kids who are school aged, now she has no job. Her mother has given her money from all of this but she is only in the beginning stage of this gifting stuff. It’s all very sad, but I thought I would updated on her part since she isnt able to get back on here and tell her story. I’d appreciate no comments to be, as I am just the messanger! My sister was taken into something then her job was in jeapordy over it, it’s very unfortunate. She made it sound better than it was. Please keep your eyes open to people who will take advantage of you.

    Comment by Barb | January 11, 2009

  6. barb, thanks for the update! i do hope that this isn’t a fishy scheme, for your sister’s sake, but still, i have reservations…if my friend at wachovia doesnt advise it, my money’s staying with me! please, give your sis my best, and keep us updated?

    Comment by libby | January 11, 2009

  7. Wow Barb that is some heavy stuff. I hope your it all works out for your sister.

    Comment by Ricardo | January 12, 2009

  8. Ricardo, I stirred the pot more than you know. I had to do a little fancy footwork to keep everyone safe. Wow, Who knew this was soooo HOT……!!!

    Comment by javajune | January 12, 2009

  9. Libby and Nilsa,
    I was very reluctant to join when I was asked and I think now I’m glad I stayed away. This activity is higher up the food chain than I realized. I would expect something big i the news before too long.

    Thanks for the update on the legal side of things. One question- do you get a lot of reports or calls about these groups?

    Comment by javajune | January 12, 2009

  10. No, we don’t get a lot of reports. I’m in New York and it was big here for a while. We had to put a scare out there because it was getting big & if we didnt check things out that are reported we’re not doing our job.

    The media & police are there to put the bad out there & tell people the bad, not the good. I don’t think many realize this. They believe everything that’s reported to them…. after all the news media has to spice things up, it’s their job, we all want jobs. We all love the gossip & ‘reality’ shows…. this is reality! They love to report on reality becus people get all worked up.

    It actually makes me laugh what people are scared of these days…….

    Comment by Jenny | January 16, 2009

  11. Hi Everyone, this is an excellent topic and I feel the record should be made clear about the legalities of these so called scams. Around summer time I was researching everything I could about these programs and if they where indeed legal at all. Opon speaking with the IRS about joining and participating in said activities the secretary informs me that there is no illegal activity going on.

    I am very glad to see people are doing their home work on the subject as I do daily Q&A blogs and Q&A videos just to get peoples questions answered. I think it’s very important for people to be informed about their financial options. Great topic

    Comment by bakura1030 | February 10, 2009

  12. […] those of you who don’t have a clue about Gifting Circles click this post for a brief description of how they […]

    Pingback by Javajune’s Blog | February 10, 2009

  13. I think that gifting programs vary alot from one to the next but it seems that there are some legit programs out there. A pyramid scheme is one person makes most of the money and no one else has a chance to climb the ladder to be successful or make as much money as the person at the top. I know of several people in cash gifting that make 5 figures a month and are not at the top of the pyramid. It takes alot of hard work and devotion to your people to be a successful cash gifter and I have met some very good people in various programs. It all boils down to how much checking a person does before getting involved. Make sure your mentor knows what he is doing and has enough time to spend teaching you how to do things along with a great track record for him and the program and you will do just fine. Myself…I love CashGifting

    Comment by Tony Grubb | March 22, 2009

  14. Gifting circles represent a wonderful paradigm where people come together to help others out. I have been involved for many years and find it to be a place of growth and sincere commitment. Think about it… You are giving your money to another woman, NOT A BANK, and she is getting her dreams fulfilled and in turn you get gifted and get your dreams fulfilled. Of course the sole purpose is gifting and deep satisfaction of helping another person reach a goal. Best investment I ever made

    Comment by Carlen | May 24, 2010

  15. Thx, i got invited two times yesterday, first i was extremly excited, sounded powerfull and the prospect of having a bunch of money to fullfill my dreams, wow plus a sisterhood that cares…. And than i started to do the math and i came to a piont that is not sustainable at all, at one point some sisters will suffer once there no one to join many on the bottom of the list wont get abything. Imagen the circle is fresh and you are on the top, well you will make money, but since i got the non sustainability part of it, some sisters will suffer… I cant sell the circle, which is required to keep feedingw into it, since i understood that this can not be sustainable, unless everyone in this will gift the money back they made, after they used the money wisly to make more to feed it back for other sisters. Otherwise is a pyramid and need more and more people…

    Comment by A sister | July 7, 2013

  16. As I understand it these are NOT pyramid schemes because nobody stays at the top. Everyone who joins circles through all of the positions in the circle and then out. In a pyramid scheme a few people keep winning while others down the line pay for it.
    I was invited to a circle with a much smaller dollar amount and found the experience very interesting. It made me tune into the abundance already present in my life and also allowed me to let go of a lot of fear and tune into the feeling that there will always be enough. I think sometimes you just need to trust that things will work out…and they usually do.

    That said, I don’t recommend anyone joining a circle like this if the gift amount will sink them if it doesn’t come back to them. Part of what is most interesting ( or was for me anyway) is that letting go of expectations.

    Also it is called a gift – not an investment. If it were an investment it would be legally problematic.

    The people in the circle that I joined were all women of very high integrity and it was a very positive experience for me.

    Comment by Megan House | July 27, 2013

  17. The circle of sisters “gifting” tables are a felony. Woemn have been arrested. Google it.

    Comment by Geir | December 5, 2013

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