Departure Central Inc
Consumers are being warned not to book a ticket on Departure Central Inc, the latest incarnation of the 1980s illegal airplane pyramid scheme.
Departure Central Inc (DCI) is being promoted on the Internet through its own website and costs $75 for a seat on an airplane, as a premier member.
The “virtual plane” consists of 15 seats, from coach class to pilot. Members or participants recruit others into the scheme, enabling the first member to eventually achieve pilot status. There are further flights available to increase income for participants.
“This is one flight you should miss,” Consumer Protection Commissioner Patrick Walker said. “DCI is just a more sophisticated version of the 1980s airplane pyramid scheme which came crashing down, leaving many Western Australians out of pocket.”
Mr Walker said Consumer Protection are pursuing the matter with the USA-based operators of the DCI website and the website host.
“Consumer Protection recently warned Western Australians not to participate in the “David Rhodes $10 chain letter” and we are issuing the same warning in regards to this pyramid scheme,” Mr Walker said.
Pyramid schemes are illegal and participants risk fines of up to "$220,000 as a player and $1,100,000 as a promoter of the scheme.”
In the past nine months, more than 1,860 participants in the “David Rhodes $10 chain letter” have received a formal warning and were required to sign undertakings to the department that they cease their involvement and refund any money received through the scheme.