If it sounds too good to be true, most of the time it is. This also applies to an elf game that is currently making the rounds on Instagram.
Not only giving gifts, but also receiving presents – the Gnome Game combines the two most beautiful things of winter and Christmas time. It was already a popular option in school to spread some joy before the holidays. The principle is simple: the names of all participants are written on pieces of paper, then the names are drawn – you buy a present for the person you have drawn. So everyone gives away a gift while getting one back at the same time. So far so good.
Gnome game increasingly digital
But now we are alive in the 21st century and nowadays a lot is digitized. Likewise the elf game. People try to organize this with other users via Instagram and other platforms. In most cases this is harmless, but you should always be careful when it comes to giving your address to people on the Internet.
But an elf game seems to promise more than it can deliver. Under the keyword “Secret Sister” it is advertised that you should send a gift and get back between 6 and 36 for it. By then, at the latest, the alarm bells should ring. Because if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. And in the case of the “Secret Sister”, it is simply a pyramid scheme, or also suitable for the winter snowball system. Meanwhile, the warns too Mimikama platform before. You can read more about this here.
What is a pyramid scheme?
As the name suggests, the system is structured like a pyramid. At the top is the initiator, whose task it is to recruit six people to take part in the elf game. These six people each send a gift to the first person and in turn recruit six more people. The recruits in turn give a gift to the person who passed the game on and are looking for six new players. Like a pyramid, the game should therefore continue to expand. The hook?
From a purely mathematical point of view, the whole system is difficult to implement, as Mimikama calculates:
“A total of 36 people have to take part in the 1st level (6 times 6), in the 2nd level already 216 people (6 times 6 times 6), from the 3rd level onwards 1,296 people (6 times 6 times 6 times 6) , from the 4th level 7,776 people (6 times 6 times 6 times 6 times 6) and so on and so on. “
That means: while those who are at the top of the pyramid still benefit from it, the system collapses pretty soon. Among other things, because among the 7,776 people there are probably people who just want to get a gift without sending one on. But also because the opportunities to recruit new people will at some point be exhausted. Precisely for this reason pyramid schemes are prohibited in Austria, as can be read here.
Also: Stay away from this elf game! But instead of hoping for a shower of gifts, it is much nicer to exchange carefully selected attentions with closest friends and family members anyway, isn’t it?
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