From Wikipedia - HYIP monitors
HYIP monitors, or HYIP listing/rating sites, are websites that list and/or promote HYIPs for referral commissions. The monitor charges each HYIP a listing fee which is usually then invested into that program, although there exist free listings and occasionally monitors which invest their own money. The monitor then labels the HYIP as "Paying" or "Not paying"/"Scam" depending on whether interest is received within the terms specified by the program. Monitors also allow other HYIP investors to rate and comment on the programs, based on factors such as promptness of payouts and responsiveness of the HYIP administrator. Programs with higher ratings achieve higher rankings on the monitor sites, which coupled with a "Paying" status may entice more investors who rely on the monitor. Therefore it is in the best interests of HYIP administrators to maintain good ratings.
However, sometimes HYIPs only pay monitor sites to keep their "Paying" status visible, but do not pay other investors. Also, programs can appear to be reliable at first, raising their ranking on monitors to attract more deposits, then turn into a scam. As HYIP monitors are not affiliated with the HYIPs themselves, they are unable to prevent investors from being scammed; they neither help to recover lost funds nor track down the scammers, even though promoting and perpetuating Ponzi schemes is a criminal offense punishable by jail terms or fines in most countries, instead placing disclaimers saying that they "do not promote the programs advertised on their website".
In order to generate a "Paying" status early (so that future visitors will see it) and maintain it for the longest possible time, newly opened HYIPs must list their site quickly as well as constantly pay monitors their interest on time. Added to the fact that many monitors just invest the listing "fee", and that a commission is received on each deposit made by investors who visit the HYIP through the monitor, they are the most likely to profit even if/when a program turns into a scam or runs out of funds. Hence, normal investors are always the losers and a site with many monitors may actually not be as reliable as it seems.
HYIP owners can also manipulate monitors and forums, by paying people to comment positively or by using a range of IP addresses or proxy servers in different locations so that "paying" votes appear to come from around the world. This allows the HYIP to rise up the rankings more quickly than others, giving investors a false sense of security. Even though this is partly avoidable by relying on forum postings by well-known members, no indication is given of when the HYIP is likely to stop paying. Additionally, normal investors will also rate positively until the HYIP turns into a scam, and future scammers can also build up a good reputation on forums for a large payoff once most forum members trust them.
Some HYIP monitors also have discussion forums that facilitate recruitment of new investors into programs currently being promoted. These often contain many posts by cheerleaders or shills, who share a belief that HYIPs are good money-making opportunities as long as they pay, even if the administrator always intended to scam.
On the other hand, in order to combat HYIPs which only pay monitors, some monitors register with the HYIP using an unassuming name instead of the monitor's name, to ensure they are not paid simply because they are a monitor.
HYIPs indicted or under investigation
The following is a list of HYIP scams that are currently under investigation or have been successfully indicted in a court of law.
* 12DailyPro (United States - US Securities & Exchange Commission)
* Ginsystem Inc. (Singapore - Commercial Affairs Department of Singapore)
* Intellekt Kapital (Germany)
* IT4US (United States)
* Omega Trust (United States)
* OSgold (Australia)
* PIPS (Malaysia - see top of page)
* PlexPay (Norway)
* Profits4investingtoo ($800,000 stolen, US investigation)
* Solidinvestment (United States - WORLDLawDirect)
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