When you were in high school, did you have a certain group of cool kids who were one or two years older than you who you admired from afar? Did you later learn that these cool kids ended up not getting into college, so they stayed in your hometown, took minimum wage jobs and still hung around your school a lot? Maybe they showed up at all the basketball or football games, or you saw them sitting in the audience for the school musical.

And maybe you happened to be in the school musical that year, which was Fiddler on the Roof, and some of these cool kids approached you after your final show to tell you that they thought you were good, and you blushed, and then they invited you to hang out with them at their house after you changed out of your costume and washed off the makeup caked on your face. Perhaps you drove over to a cool kid’s house, and they offered you a beer, which you turned down because you are a square, and then they said, “Hey, it’s cool,” and gave you a Coke instead.

You wondered why these people you once admired invited you to hang out with them, and you asked them why they decided not to go to college, and they told you that they had found a way to make $5,000 a month in this new business they were starting, and that they were interested in recruiting you to be part of their business. You asked them what you had to do, and they said that all you had to do was invest $1,000 to be part of the business, and that you would start making money once you recruited more people from your own network of friends. Maybe a voice in your head told you that this was a pyramid scheme, so you put down the Coke, and said you weren’t interested, and you abruptly got up and said you had to leave because it was getting late, and you ran out of the house, and got into your car and were so happy you didn’t drink that beer because you would be so hard on yourself for drinking and driving. The next day at school, you told all your friends about it, and you began identifying those former cool kids as “The Scam Artists.”