25 Apr 2014 
Support Center » Knowledgebase » Important Information About Illegal Gifting Programs
 Important Information About Illegal Gifting Programs
Solution We have received some enquiries having to do with gifting programs because one program in particular is targeting our members. I have been asked to provide some information on gifting programs – and so this article is in response to that request...

Let me share my personal views on gifting and gifting programs from the perspective of a businessman, a mentor, and a Christian.

If you go to www.Dictionary.com and look up the word ‘gift’, you will see the following dictionary description:


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Gift:
-noun

‘Something given voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favour toward someone, honour an occasion, or make a gesture of assistance; present.’

‘The act of giving.’

‘something bestowed or acquired without any particular effort by the recipient or without its being earned: Those extra points he got in the game were a total gift.’

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#1) legal gifting is where you receive a gift from someone who is making a bona-fide gesture to you (by offering you a gift), and where that person's gift is 100% void of any expectation that the person making the gift will stand to make money because they can get into a 'gifting business'. However, if your expectation to receive a stream of income is predicated on the giving of a gift – then your act is NOT a gift, but rather it is a business investment from which you are expecting a return on your investment. That is the point that makes gifting programs illegal, and anyone responding to any advertising that promoted ‘cash gifting’ as a way to earn money would know that they were being solicited to make a gift in order to ‘qualify’.

#2) Regardless of how it is dressed up, if you enter into any program under the guise of a gifting program - where your clear intention is to profit or make money off of others because you can 'sell them', or 'advertise to them' that they can profit my engaging in a gifting program starting with making a gift to you - then you have not only broken the law - but you have committed what I believe to be a serious violation of ethics. Gifting programs are nothing more than the old ponzi schemes - but with a different name.

#3) Regardless of what anyone tells you, gifting programs are illegal. Just look at any of the following links to verify that fact:


The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has clearly stated that gifting is illegal:
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/alerts/giftalrt.shtm

The following is a warning from the Department of Justice of the Iowa Attorney General:

http://www.state.ia.us/government/ag/consumer/press_releases/pyramid-release.html

Here is a link showing the Colorado Attorney General is targeting gifting clubs:
http://www.wfsb.com/news/2114562/detail.html

Here is a link from the Missouri Attorney General warning of Gift Clubs:
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa4441/is_200506/ai_n16062345

This article contains quotes from several attorney generals:

http://www.mlmwatchdog.com/Resources_Gifting.html

Here is the Federal Trade Commission’s perspective on gifting and chain letters:

http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2002/04/spam.shtm

More info from FTC:

http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2003/09/universal.shtm


Here are some guidelines on how to recover monies paid to gifting programs from a state attorney general. Pay attention to the last paragraph of this document where is:

http://www.iowa.gov/government/ag/latest_news/releases/dec_2001/pyramid_How_To_rel.htm

Don’t think people can go to jail for gifting? Think again:
http://www.mlmwatchdog.com/RC_Gifting2.html

The best way to understand gifting is to describe how it works.

This is kind of the way gifting goes:

Somebody starts a gifting club, in which people are going to make a lot of money recruiting other people to become members of the club that they just started. The internet has seen gifting clubs move from back rooms and private homes to the big leagues of the World Wide Web. Today, you likely will see gifting programs advertising or marketing themselves through keyword phases that people type in on the internet when they are looking for things such as ‘How to make money online?’ Gifting videos can be seen on video sites like YouTube, and article sites like e-zine articles. It amazes me how many ‘brazen’ people try to market an illegal activity out in the open. But then, it doesn’t surprise me because I know that many folks who desperately want or need to make money have been duped by the lies that people who are in the cash gifting business propagate. I will get to those in a few moments.

While some of the gifting programs are cheap (chain letters), most are not. Most cash gifting programs have entry fees ranging from $500 to over $10,000. Some programs have 3 levels: a $500, $1,500 and $3500 level. The premise of the gifting program is that in order for you to qualify for taking money (cash gifts) you have to pay your gift (anywhere from $500 to $10,000+) to your sponsor. When you do that, you then have the ability to recruit others for the same kind of entry fee ($500 to $10,000+). In most cases (but not always) there are requirements like having to lose (or pass up) your first two members before you can recruit people yourself, but that depends on how the gifting program you are in is set up.

So, what do you get for your money? Aside from the opportunity to solicit your own people in order to start making gifts to you (after you pass up your first one or two so called gifts): you get absolutely NOTHING except access to fancy landing pages and a private or secret website that is ‘usually’ by invitation only. Plus, you will likely be plugged in to some very professional hyped up conference calls and/or webinars’ that will sell the sizzle of gifting to people like yourself. And, these conference call are designed to simply encourage YOU to ‘gift’ huge amounts of money to the total stranger who invited you to the call so that YOU can have your own opportunity to solicit illegal gifts and invite those people to the same call in order to close your ‘gifting deal’!

99% of all gifting programs have no products! There are no services! It is nothing but a money grab disguised as the act of making a gift to a total stranger! There is however, one gifting program that offers you a small piece of software when you make a gift of $500; or a different piece of software if you gift $1,000; and a cd-rom with a bit more software when you make a gift of $3,500. Basically, if you look around the internet hard and long enough – you will see these pieces of software are available as free downloads on some websites! These gifting programs are simply trying to buy more time before they are shut down by the FTC.

If something looks like or sounds a lot like an illegal pyramid scheme, it likely is. But most people try to get around the fact that cash gifting is illegal because they either:

a) Tell people who are looking at their cash gifting program that they have hired an attorney – and that their attorney has assured them that the program is fully legal.

b) Or, they will tell you that they have found a loophole. 9 times out of 10, they will tell you that they have discovered that there is a loophole in an IRS (Internal Revenue Service) document – known as publication 950 – where apparently people can legally make a legal gift to another person of up to $12,000 annually with no issues whatsoever! And, they say that married couples can gift any individual up to $24,000 per year with no issues or legal repercussions. In other words, they tell you that ‘cash gifting a total stranger is nothing more than a gift that can be made to any stranger, friend or family member...hence the names ‘cash gifting’ or ‘gifting program’.

The real truth is: THEY ARE LYING.

Not a single one of these programs was or has ever been legal. Many people are misled into thinking a cash gifting clubs and opportunities are legal because the ads say that members consider their payments a gift and expect nothing in return. The FTC has clearly stated that any attempt to make gifting look legal (by using IRS publications like the one mentioned above) is merely an attempt to make an illegal transaction LOOK legal!

Like most scams, they purely work on people’s greed. Understand that people are not giving this money as gifts from their heart! They are giving total strangers money because they are absolutely expecting that they are going to see a return on this kind of investment!

If the promise or implication of a return on investment did not exist – you can bet there would be no gift made! It is the absolute expectation or contemplation of a return on investment that makes cash gifting 100% illegal. And, the people in the cash gifting business will tell you that it perfectly legal because they get people to SIGN A SPECIAL DOCUMENT where YOU are stating in writing that YOU are making YOUR CASH GIFT to a stranger VOLUNTARILY and of your own free will without any expectation of receiving anything back for that gift! Wow – what they manage to do is to get you to put in writing that you are willing to be duped into giving a total stranger up to a few grand or more.

Even if cash gifting were somehow borderline legal, the whole idea of YOU building a GIFTING TEAM in your cash gifting business kind of throws the whole idea of ‘non-incentivized gifting’ out the window ...doesn’t it?

Do people make money in cash gifting? Yes – some do! But, selling heroin or child pornography can make a lot of money too. Does that mean you should consider those activities too? The common factor is that all these activities are ILLEGAL and numerous states attorney generals have stated so!

One of the most astonishing aspects of cash gifting is that it sucks so many people in. Think that you are immune? Think again! The lure of huge amounts of money can make good people do very stupid things!

Regardless of what anyone says to you, cash gifting programs are illegal.

Want proof? Simply call up your local police authority or attorney general and ask them if ‘marketing’ a cash gifting program (where you encourage someone to make you a cash gift in return for them being able to do the same) is legal. You already know what the answer is! Then ask them if soliciting someone to make YOU a cash gift is legal provided you have the person making the gift to you sign a document that says ‘their gift’ to you is voluntary and made without any contemplation of return on investment. THEY WILL TELL YOU THAT AMOUNTS TO FRAUD!

Why do you think that most of the people in the cash gifting money proof videos never show their face?

Why do you think the cash gifting web sites & conference calls are either password protected or by invitation only?

Why do you think that cash gifters insist that you sign a document that says you are making a gift without any contemplation of making money yourself?

YOU and I both know that the ONLY REASON a cash gifter would be talking to you is that they want to LURE YOU into making them a cash gift!

Know this: If you succumb to cash gifting – you are breaking the law!

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Many of you know that I am a strong believer.

Clearly, we know that gifting programs have been called illegal by the police authorities. In other words, gifting programs have been called illegal by the laws of man.

What does the Bible have to say about following the laws of man?

I think that the bible makes it unquestionably clear. True Believers (Christians) are to obey the laws of man as long as they do not conflict with God's higher laws.

The Bible does not actually say worldly laws but it does mention obeying your leaders. In Hebrews 13:17 "Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you."

God allows human governments to set up and police laws. Human governments are never to substitute for God's laws, but God allows them their place because He knows there must be relative order.

Romans 13:1-2 tell us to be in subjection to the superior authorities even as we are to God. Further, we are to be in relative subjection to kings and governors as they have their positions due to God's allowance. (Peter 2:13-17)

Considering it as obeying God, we would want to view obeying civil laws, tax laws and traffic laws as the same whether someone is watching or not. That is part of what Christian integrity means.

Only when man's laws conflicts with God's laws (as when early Christians were ordered by Jewish and Roman courts to stop preaching about Christ) did Christians refuse to follow the law. (Acts 5:41)

In conclusion, how could anyone who calls himself or herself a Christian – become involved in an illegal gifting program once they had all the facts?

God Bless You,


Gerald Van Yerxa
CEO iMMACC


Article Details
Article ID: 126
Created On: 08 Aug 2008 06:53 PM

 This answer was helpful  This answer was not helpful

Posted By: Vic Ten Veen (luvic.dreams@telus.net) On: 27 Jan 2009 03:53 PM
Hi Gerald

Thanks for the good information to be equipped with for the occasion that I'm sure will come up sometime in the future. Thanks Vic
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