Back when I was a youngin' (sometime in 2006?), someone invited my friend to a "Multi-Level Marketing" (MLM) meeting and he asked me to go with him. He didn't know what it was other than "an opportunity to make money".
Basically, you buy some items at a slight discount from a company and resell them, but you also get a small percentage of the profits of anyone who joins under you. Because you are selling a product (and through some other loopholes), these "businesses" are not legally classified as pyramid schemes.
Needless to say, the whole thing felt sketchy as we walked into a lecture hall at a nearby hotel, and I was not reassured by what transpired there. Everyone already involved was walking around hyping each other up to the new people (a psychological technique that they sometimes call "edification"), and there was a lot of little team-building activities, similar to the kind of stuff that they do at other corporate events.
When I got home, I did some research into the company and found out that all of the people who made anywhere near what they claimed did not actually do it through selling the items. They did it by selling the new recruits lecture tapes on how to sell the items more efficiently. The guy giving the lecture was probably the only one making a livable wage off of it. I would laugh at how ridiculous this all seems, but it upset me at the time because you could see that some of the people there were trying very hard and getting nowhere.
I called my friend and told him to stay away from it because it was a scam. I then wrote a long blog post on MySpace about MLMs and shady corporate practices in general. Immediately after I posted it, my account got hacked and I got an email explaining that there was "suspicious activity" associated with it. Yeah right! I deleted my account and never went back.
Everytime I see a crypto video on YouTube with a million comments on how "now is the time to invest!" and "I made thousands of dollars!" it kinda reminds me of it.