A Pyramid Scheme is an unsustainable and illegal business model that involves promising participants payment for enrolling other participants into the scheme without supplying any real investment or sale of products or services to the public.
In a pyramid scheme, an organization compels individuals to make a payment to join and, when they join, the organization promises them a share of the joining fee taken from every additional member that they recruit. The directors of the organization (those at the top of the pyramid) also receive a share of these payments.
For the directors, the scheme is potentially lucrative as they receive a portion of the recruitment fee from every new member, however, as the business has no other means of income, in order to continue its revenue the organization must continue recruiting or die.
Due to its inability to sustain itself and its lack of contribution to society the scheme is considered a monetary scam that ultimately only benefits the directors and is labelled as illegal in most economic countries.