My Experience with a Multilevel Marketing Pyramid Scheme

My Experience with a Multilevel Marketing Pyramid Scheme

Beware of Cydcor.

Cydcor: These deceptive intern-recruiting schemers will outsmart even the brightest of students. During my short experience with them, I had witnessed another Temple "intern" as well as two Penn "interns" waste their precious time with this bogus pyramid scheme (they're still involved, unfortunately). I had applied to this "company" branch through my University's private job/internship database (my sheisty employer was able to post an ad there because he was a Temple Alumnus). This office gave the illusion that it was its own entity by having its own name -- this is the exact job description I had applied for -- an entry level account manager:


-Making 100+ dials a day over the phone
-Sourcing qualified candidates from posted ADS and resume databases like Careerbuilder, Monster, and Zip- recruiter
-Engaging in clerical duties like background check paperwork
-Utilizing Microsoft Word platforms such as Excel and PowerPoint
-Engaging with interviewees' at the front desk such as checking the candidate in, handing out an interview questionnaire etc.
-Joining two conference calls a week for skill & team building with other recruiters throughout the country.

-Health insurance after 90 days' of employment
-Paid training
-Travel opportunities to national and local conference
-Career advancement based on performance not seniority or favoritism
-Salary starts off at $25,000-$30,000 annually

Seems like a solid job right? Now keep in mind I had absolutely no idea that this was a scam -- I mean these people were pretty damn good at hiding the fact that their business is a cult-like pyramid scheme designed to work their entry-level "managers" to the bone -- 65+ hours a week. During my two interviews, the office seemed legit. There was a professionally designed waiting room complemented by a ton of business magazines and a very friendly secretary -- the interview itself promised that I would become a manager at the office and experience many different forms of marketing. Myself, an entrepreneurship major, found this as a perfect opportunity to learn proper management skills. The boss made me feel special -- he made me feel like my professional resume, academic standard, and qualifications were a perfect fit for the job, and he claimed that he was searching for a Temple student to manage the office.

Day 1: I walk into the office with my hopes high, and money on my mind -- I was ready to kill it. I walk into the breakout room hoping that my boss is going to address me as a new manager in training, but all of a sudden something strange happened. I get placed within this group of people, some 40 years old, some 18 with peach fuzz. I figured that I was going to be separated amongst the group once the boss walked in -- think again. I then find out that I am starting at the same exact level as all of these cool cats hanging in the room -- I'm thinking what the hell is going on here? The group then breaks out in cult-like rituals by playing games, chanting, dancing, giving a ridiculous amount of high-fives, and praising their "national conference" like its the greatest thing on God's green earth. I figured I'd let it play out until I began my "management" duties.

Day 2: After another ridiculous set of morning rituals, my boss asks me how excited I am to hit the "field" -- I ensured I was excited, but I didn't know what the hell the "field" was. My boss did a great job at keeping everybody pumped up about heading out to the field. So I head out to this "field" and you know what happened? I found myself knocking on door after door trying to sell folks Verizon Fios. Yes, Fios -- I don't even like TV to be honest with you; in fact, I hate it. I had been tricked into becoming a door-to-door salesman. But what happened to the Powerpoint, Excel, Word, conference calls, interviewing, and clerical duties? These descriptions were all just bait -- nothing but a juicy worm on a big old shiny hook; and I was one hell of a catch.

During the rest of the week I figured that I'd stick it out and wait until the management would kick in. The brilliance behind the scheme: there was no damn management position awaiting my fulfillment. I was recruited by a pyramid scheme which really pissed me off. This guy literally tricked students from great schools with awesome backgrounds and qualifications and threw them in line with people who can literally get the job if they said they eat dog shit in the interview. My 3.8 GPA, marketing experience, organizational experience, and set of leadership skills literally meant nothing -- I was at the bottom with people who didn't even attend college! My point: if this guy wanted to recruit average shmucks into his business that's fine; but for him to steal opportunity away from kids who actually have it at their fingertips just so he can earn a pretty penny off of them -- that's just down right sickening. Luckily the previous job offers that I had turned down were able to still offer me a position; had this not happened I would be in complete outrage right now. My hopes were so high; yet they were all configured around a beautifully painted lie. Long story short, I went out to eat on a Friday night with my boss, and he continued to show me how awesome these "national conference" trips were through several YouTube videos on his Android smartphone. Just as he got done showing me the fifth video in a row, a suggested video came up saying "Is Cydcor a Scam: YES". It all clicked together. About 15 minutes later I knowingly asked my boss what the overall company's name was (because these "independently owned" offices were actually ICLs), and he said the word Cydcor very quietly, just as I expected. I was so pissed off I couldn't finish my food. The only thing that I could think about was to go home and research this "company". I then find out that Cydcor is linked with DS-MAX/Devilcorp; all part of the same genius pyramid scheme -- all equipped with different names to hide their devious plot. 100% commission to each fool who stays with the company while the head honchos on top make the real money - they brainwash their employees with the illusion that they're going to get rich if they recognize their "opportunity".

My advice: Be completely aware of who and what you're applying for. I have done many Google and Glassdoor searches on the company, and all came back positive. This is because the company itself changed its name multiple times, and personally went in and rated itself. The website is extremely well done -- and appears to be completely legit. One red flag I noticed: all pictures of employees were taken on the same day if you click through the multiple tabs "home", "about us", "careers". I guess I believed that this couldn't happen to me -- think again. Although this company wasted two weeks of my time, I will never make the same mistake in the future.

Check out the company site that fooled me.

Cover Image Credit: Learn to Trade the Market

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Stop Saying You're a Broke College Student

I've had a job since 16, and my money life is thriving.

It's supposed to be funny when someone says "I'm a broke college student" but I think it's stupid. Here's my unpopular opinion.

I've had a job since I was 16. My first day of work was the first weekend after I started my sophomore year of high school. It wasn't too difficult- I was literally only working on Saturdays and Sundays. The shifts were 4-7:30/8 pm on Saturdays and 11-2:30 on Sundays. I wasn't making a huge amount of money, but it paid for my gas money, and that was all I needed. So the first year I had my job, I was spending any extra money I had on food, movie tickets, and clothes.

Then reality hit when I knew I needed to start saving up for college. I started putting money into my savings account, and eventually I had built up enough money to buy a new old car. I know, it wasn't college tuition, but I needed it.

My first year living in the dorms, I figured out a system. I was putting $150 each week in a savings envelope, and each month I knew I had to pay $160 for my car payment. The rest of the money I made I put in envelopes for a new purse, clothes, vacation. I had a system going, and I didn't spend extra money on useless things unless I was rewarding myself. In case you can't do the math, that's at least $600 in my savings account each month, and most people can't figure out how to put away $100.

Now, as a sophomore in college, I watch people trickle into class with to-go food, to-go coffee, smoothies, and candy from gas stations or the shops on campus. Then I hear those same people complain about being "a broke college student." I'm sorry, but you're not a broke college student. You're a college student who pays for things you don't need, with money you have that you shouldn't be spending. You don't need to get Starbucks 3 times a day. You don't have to go to pitcher night at the local bar. You don't need to spend money on those things, but you do. And at the end of the month, you're broke, and begging your parents for money.

So, in my unpopular opinion, you're not a broke college student. You're a dumb one. Make a budget, give yourself some spending money, and stick to it. You'll thank me later.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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11 Tips For a Great Semester

The moment you’re ready to quit is usually the moment right before the miracle happens.

1. Have a nice workspace/desk

I recently made this change and I feel 100% better.

2. Dress well

Personally, if I go to class looking like a bum, I feel like a bum. Dress for success!

3. Go to bed at the same time every night

Getting enough rest can really impact the rest of your day. Aim to get 7-9 solid hours of sleep each night this semester to avoid accidentally being grouchy at someone.

4. What am I doing for this upcoming week?

What are my goals this week? What’s going on this week? What do I need to work on for this week? If you go into your week blind, it never really works. I’ve done this before.

5. Don’t lose your class syllabi

This one paper has literally all of the due dates, test dates, readings and homework assignments on it. Make sure you always know where this paper is because you will be looking at it constantly, so don’t lose it.

6. Ask questions

If you’re in class and you have no idea what the professor is talking about ask, or email them! It’s good to ask questions because then your professor knows you care about their class so it’s a win-win situation. You ask questions plus the professor knows you care equals good grade in the class.

7. Take good notes

I can’t tell you how many times over the past semester I would look back at my notes and what I wrote didn’t make sense. Learn what type of learner you are to figure out how to take the best notes for yourself. I either write everything out by hand which takes forever (especially when the professor flies through the lecture) or I print out the notes and just write on those papers so I can actually listen to the lecture.

8. Get some homework done in between classes

In my schedule, I have a lot of time gaps in between classes just waiting around for my next class to start. Take advantage of this 30 minutes or 2-hour gap and work on some homework. You’ll thank yourself later.

9. Don't overload yourself

I’ve made a rule with myself to only do homework Monday to Friday. That’s because if I work super hard during the week on my work then I can have the weekends off as a mental break. There are a couple exceptions to my rule like if I have a 5-page essay due Monday then yes, I’ll work on it during the weekend or if I have tests coming up the next week then I’ll be studying.

10. Don't procrastinate

If you’re avoiding something, just get it done and over with. If you have a really difficult essay to write and then a bunch of easier assignments; start with the hard assignment first to get it done. It’ll take the most time and then you’ll feel relieved when you’re done with it.

11. Don't give up

The moment you’re ready to quit is usually the moment right before the miracle happens.

Just keep going.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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