Eliza Briscoe was told that all she had to do was put up $500 and bring in two additional people who would each contribute the same amount of money. In a little more than four weeks, she would get $4,000 in return.

Like so many others being recruited for a “sou-sou,” Briscoe was nearly duped into a pyramid scheme.

Readers can write to Michelle Singletary c/o The Washington Post, 1301 K St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20071. Her email address is michelle.singletary@washpost.com. Follow her on Twitter (@SingletaryM) or Facebook (www.facebook.com/MichelleSingletary).

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