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Are you tempted to play “The Circle Game,” join a “Blessing Loom,” or jump on a “Money Board”? These are some of the names for an online scam that’s making the rounds at a time when millions of people are out of work and scraping for cash. It promises a big return for a modest investment. Don’t fall for it. You’re virtually guaranteed to lose your money, or pull in friends and family who will lose theirs.

Also known as the “Mandala Game,” “Blessing Circle,” “Infinity Loom,” “Giving Circle,” and by other names, the scam is a chain letter-type of pyramid scheme. While versions vary slightly, the one we’re hearing about most promises that you’ll collect $800 for an investment of $100 and, at the same time, help bring good fortune to someone else by recruiting them to join. Here’s how it works.Image of a Blessing Loom game board. Text says, "Online 'games' like these are chain letter scams.                 with the

You see a post or get a direct message on Instagram, Facebook, or other social media. It invites you to join the Circle or Loom by sending $100 through PayPal or another digital payment service to the person whose name is at the center of an octagon-shaped playing board. Your payment gets you one of eight spots on the outer ring of the board and a chance to move towards the center by recruiting other people to join. As more people join, your board changes and the number of playing boards expands. Eventually, you’re supposed to land at the center of a playing board and collect $100 from each of eight new recruits on the outer ring. That’s when you leave the game or start all over again with another $100 payment.

What’s the harm? Like other types of pyramid schemes, these chain letters depend on recruiting new people to keep money flowing into the enterprise. There are no products sold or real investments creating profits. Once players run out of new recruits to bring into the game, the money dries up and everyone waiting to reach the center comes up empty handed.

If you get an offer to join an online game like this, beware ­– it’s a scam. The warning signs? Promises that you will make money by paying in yourself and recruiting others to do the same. If the offer comes from a friend or family member, warn them. And, if you’ve paid someone to join this game, please tell us: Your report can help us protect others from a scam.

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

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May 21, 2020
Another on-line scam why not reporting to IC3???
FTC Staff
May 21, 2020

In reply to by Cathy

You can also report scams to the Federal Trade Commission, a federal law enforcement agency, which operates the Consumer Sentinel Network. See a list of the federal and state agencies that use the Sentinel network for investigations and law enforcement activity nationwide.

You can contribute your report at

May 22, 2020
Wow, it never ends new scams, identity theft and hacked accounts.
Don't use your…
May 22, 2020
These folks behind this scam and scheme should all be arrested for using a fraudulent trick to obtain money from all of us who may not be aware of this type of thing that is here now.
August 21, 2020

In reply to by Don't use your…

My friend asked me to join this today, she was talking about it with such excitement. She was even considering paying for her kids to join she was so excited about it.
Pissed SC
September 24, 2020

In reply to by Jkim

Yes - and I was you & your friend. A friend of mine called me with the excitement and and I was enticed - I joined and paid for my daughter to get on board as well. This all took place in late June - neither of us received a payment to date. Today a friend lead me to an article similar to this one and I now know that I have fell victim to fraud and have been participating in what I didn’t know was illegal, but I will be reporting it.
May 23, 2020
If there’s a way to get to you, they already know it. I learned the hard way...won’t happen again.
July 20, 2020

In reply to by J

Please post your experience or share it. I have so many people asking me to join and I keep saying it’s a scam and I don’t want to be on American Greed. My best friend has gotten caught up in this.
May 29, 2020
They tried but I was warned my daughter helps me.
Like to frustr…
June 17, 2020
Seems to be alot of scammers posing as "Consulting Firm" (got to ask consulting is doing what??) and lots of people selling "life insurance" also "protection plans" and "selling policies" for future expenses such as funeral arrangements so kids don't pay for your funeral. Told this guy "don't care now & when I am dead I won't care even more so"
July 04, 2020
A coed organized gifting group recruited me. I was asked to pay in $1400 for a $11,000 payout and need to recruit 2 people. I was also asked attend a Zoom meeting with over 300 people! I have never heard of this before.
July 13, 2020
There is another one called Family and Friends saving plan 2020 that is currently on YouTube using the 4 elements as their board game.
July 22, 2020
A friend convinced me to participate in order to help her get the flower . I definitely was not sure about what it is was and certainly didn’t know it was illegal . I do not know how to remove my name from the pyramid, but I didn’t know the details of this scam . I was trying to help a friend .
Victim of Scam
July 25, 2020
Beware if this scam. They go by the name Infinity Circle.
Stop Scammers
July 25, 2020
Beware of this new version of the scam: Infinity Circle. There are several variations. They may not collect money upfront. They may ask you to CASH App someone once it is time for the person in the middle to get paid. They try and say it is not a scam because they ask you at the end when the person in the center is ready to be paid. They ask you to recruit new people. They tell you that you should consider it a gift you are giving even though you have never met the person in your life.
July 27, 2020
I did not know how sinister these boards were. I started one of these boards thinking that it was legit. I was WRONG! They are horrible. Now, I am trying to advise others not to get involved on any level.
August 06, 2020
August 19, 2020
I was tricked into joining a group called the wealth society. They constantly ask to pay money to eventually get a payout and have residual income. I had no idea this was illegal.
August 25, 2020
i gave some money away thinking it was an investment little did i know this was a money scheme, i need to know and want to report this people is there anything i can do?
August 26, 2020
Beware of LightningFastBC..... They come of being nice and make it sound like you will be bless but it's a scam for sure. They got my coworkers and I for a lumpsum
September 01, 2020
Abundance circles got my girlfriend and her mom after I said it was a Ponzi.
September 02, 2020
Got scammed from (Gifting flower) now called they claim you gift 100.00 and you get 800.00 once progresses you gift 400 and get 800 and goes up from that
November 02, 2020
How or why is it illegal?
June 08, 2021
I was scammed $5400 by a close relative and the scammer said it was a blessing and l would get too but the group disappeared.The scammer never pick my call.
June 13, 2021
They give you that promise and lead you to more and more promises until you wake up and realize that you have been bitten.