This book takes an investigative look at the reasons why Ponzi schemes and pyramid frauds are thriving today. It closely examines why over 100,000 Americans are suckered into the schemes every year. Using dozens of memorable case studies, from Charles Ponzi's original scam in the 1920s to the elaborate New Era philanthropy fraud of the 1990s, the book scrutinizes the mechanics behind these deceptive plots. It considers the underlying factors, financial and psychological, that pump life into the scams. It also takes a close look at regulatory rules and other legal issues. Most importantly, it describes the modern variations that perpetrators and swindlers use to sell their schemes. Tips are offered to detect schemes and respond when they occur. The book aims to educate consumers and make them aware of how financial scams work.--From publisher description.