The scheme is named after Charles Ponzi ,  who became notorious for using the technique in the 1920s.  The idea, present in novels (for example, Charles Dickens ' 1844 novel Martin Chuzzlewit and 1857 novel Little Dorrit each described such a scheme),  was performed in real life by Ponzi, and became well known throughout the United States because of the huge amount of money he took in. Ponzi's original scheme was based on the arbitrage of international reply coupons for postage stamps; however, he soon diverted investors' money to make payments to earlier investors and himself. 
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Las víctimas del abuso del MLM (MN), también temen las consecuencias por parte de su “línea arriba” o sus dependientes (Lina abajo) de reportar los abusos del MMN, ya que aquellos quienes les reclutaron o a aquellos a quienes ellos reclutaron pueden ser parientes o amigos cercanos. Y sienten auto recriminación, ya que cada víctima fue también un perpetrador inconsciente del fraude del MMN al reclutar otros en su cadena sin fin, con presentaciones falsas. Por estas razones, es extremadamente raro que las víctimas denuncien sus quejas ante las autoridades.