As the COVID-19 economic crisis deepens, financially risky MLMs are moving in to fill the employment void

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Mary Kay is one of the oldest and most well known MLMs.
Mary Kay is one of the oldest and most well known MLMs.

Anna Webber/Getty Images for Mary Kay

  • Stuck at home and unemployed, some people are turning to multi-level marketing companies, or MLMs, to make cash.

  • MLMs promise the opportunity to “work for yourself,” but these companies often require people to shell out for products and training sessions upfront.

  • Women and people of color are most likely to be swayed by the promise of an MLM, according to a survey from AARP.

  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

 

Emily Jones entered the world of MLMs as a customer. It was 2018, she was preparing for a vacation to Europe and looking for inexpensive jewelry to wear. A friend introduced her to Paparazzi Accessories.

The jewelry was cute, she said, so when Christmas rolled around, she ordered additional pieces to give away as gifts. The friend who sold the jewelry to

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