High-Yield Investment Program - HYIP

DEFINITION of 'High-Yield Investment Program - HYIP'

A fraudulent investment scheme that purports to deliver extraordinarily high returns on investment. High-yield investment schemes often advertise yields of more than 100% per year in order to lure in victims. In reality, these high-yield investment programs are Ponzi schemes, and the organizers aim to steal the money invested.

This scam is also known as the "prime bank scam".

BREAKING DOWN 'High-Yield Investment Program - HYIP'

The SEC advises that there are several warning signs that investors can use to help avoid being victimized by high-yield investment program scams. These include excessive guaranteed returns, fictitious financial instruments, extreme secrecy, claims that the investments are an exclusive opportunity, and inordinate complexity surrounding the investments.