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// At Temple University

My Experience with a Multilevel Marketing Pyramid Scheme

Beware of Cydcor.

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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:

Description:

-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.

Benefits:
-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.


I am currently an entrepreneurship student at the Fox School of Business. I write about politics, current events, tech, and business.

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