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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.
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.
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.
Recently, get-rich-quick schemes featuring Bitcoin have become quite common. Bitcoin's perceived anonymity and rapid growth in popularity has become an attractive asset for scammers who use the likeness and image of Bitcoin to promote their unrelated schemes. Typically these schemes promise to turn a certain amount of Bitcoin into a larger amount of money either by "investing" into what likely turns out to be a Ponzi Scheme or by "flipping" it.
Lotto advice as get-rich-quick
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 Amazon.com. Finance journalist Felix Salmon characterized Lustig as "a get-rich-quick" hack.
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- S.A. Nelson "The Blockite and the Get-Rich-Quick Man", Everybody's Magazine, vol 10, 1904.
- "Money flipping scams". stopfraudcolorado.gov.
- Little, Lineka (21 October 2010). "How One Man Became a Serial Lottery Winner". ABC News. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
- Salmon, Felix (14 March 2012). "The worst personal-finance video ever". Reuters. Archived from the original on 15 March 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2016.