Get-rich-quick scheme

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A get-rich-quick scheme is a plan to obtain high rates of return for a small investment. The term "get rich quick" has been used to describe shady investments since at least the early 20th century.[1][2]

Most schemes create an impression that participants can obtain this high rate of return with little risk, and with little skill, effort, or time. Get-rich-quick schemes often assert that wealth can be obtained by working at home. Legal and quasi-legal get-rich-quick schemes are frequently advertised on infomercials and in magazines and newspapers. Illegal schemes or scams are often advertised through spam or cold calling. Some forms of advertising for these schemes market books or compact discs about getting rich quick rather than asking participants to invest directly in a concrete scheme.

Online schemes[edit]

Get-rich-quick schemes that operate entirely on the Internet usually promote "secret formulas" to affiliate marketing and affiliate advertising. The scheme will usually claim that it does not require any special IT or marketing skills and will provide an unrealistic timeframe in which the individual could make hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars.

Lotto advice as get-rich-quick[edit]

Richard Lustig, a seven-time lottery winner from the US, wrote a 2013 booklet explaining the methods to which he attributed his success which became a best-seller on[3] Finance journalist Felix Salmon characterized Lustig as "a get-rich-quick" hack.[4]

NFTs and cryptocurrency[edit]

Since the growth in popularity of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in the early 2020s, skeptics have accused many NFT projects of resembling get-rich-quick schemes.[5][6][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 'Get Rich Quick' Insurance from the Inside", The World's work, Volume 22, (1911)
  2. ^ S.A. Nelson "The Blockite and the Get-Rich-Quick Man", Everybody's Magazine, vol 10, 1904.
  3. ^ Little, Lineka (21 October 2010). "How One Man Became a Serial Lottery Winner". ABC News. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
  4. ^ Salmon, Felix (14 March 2012). "The worst personal-finance video ever". Reuters. Archived from the original on 15 March 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  5. ^ Needham, Jack (26 July 2021). "'The misconception is that NFTs are like a get rich quick scheme. That's not really how it works.'". Music Business Worldwide. Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  6. ^ Kelly, Jemima (17 March 2021). "NFTs are the latest get-rich-quick scheme for the 'cryptosphere'". Financial Times. Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  7. ^ Brittain, Blake (6 May 2022). "Hermes lawsuit over 'MetaBirkins' NFTs can move ahead, judge rules". Reuters. Retrieved 26 June 2022.