Sad to report, pyramid schemes have come to children’s books. As widely reported, since last month a viral scam has been doing the rounds of Facebook, inviting readers to mail in a kid’s book then enrol six of their friends via Facebook, who will then do the same. The proposition is that for the first book you sent, you will eventually receive 36 books from the friends your friends recruit. And in fact, some participants in such schemes do stand a chance of getting something – but at the cost of most others getting nothing.
Thatsnonsense.com went into great detail on the mechanics – and ethics – of the pyramid scheme. Their calcuation projected that “approximately 3 percent of kids will get books and 97 percent will not.” In other words, if you do participate in the scheme and do get a book, you’ll have effectively scammed 97 percent of other participants. I don’t have to emphasize how especially loathsome it is making children the targets of this. And if the scheme is legal, it’s only borderline legal.
So, please ignore those messages and emails inviting you to get involved in the scheme. The more people are involved, the more will suffer.