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Pyramid rescues promised online

A MAN has started an online service offering to save people involved in pyramid selling schemes. He charges 10,000 yuan (US$1,462) per person.

The man, surnamed Zhang, says he has already saved six people, according to the Wuhan-based Chang Jiang Times today.

Zhang, a marketing professional for five years, had lost money to an acquaintance in a pyramid selling scheme in Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, at the beginning of the year. After he returned to Wuhan, capital of Hubei Province, he developed his rescue scheme.

He has posted his service on, saying he will provide the rescue for people involved in things like "chain store marketing" or "capital operations" if they have relatives or friends who are willing to pay the money.

Zhang, 27, says he talks to the victims, expresses an interest in their schemes then asks questions which reveal the true purpose of the scheme so that the victims can realize they are being scammed.

He promises a full refund if this doesn't happen and his webpage has had 253 visitors to date.

Pyramid selling was banned in China in 1998.

The mastermind behind Beijing's biggest pyramid scheme was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Monday for swindling 1.68 billion yuan (US$246 million) from more than 22,000 victims nationwide by promising high returns on an investment in trees.

China launched a month-long campaign against pyramid schemes in 2007 after violent confrontations between illegal salesmen and law-enforcement officers.


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