People are being warned not to engage with a potential pyramid scheme that is circulating on social media in Ireland.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission said it has been contacted by consumers who have been invited to take part in a scheme where they initially pay €150 and then recruit other people to also invest.

People are told that once they recruited more people they would move to the next tier of the model.

This supposedly continues until the participant reaches the centre of the model and makes a return on their investment.

In theory, the further up the pyramid a participant is, the more money they get.

However, the CCPC pointed out that as is the case in all pyramid schemes, inevitably the supply of potential investors runs out and the scheme collapses, leading to the majority of those involved losing their money.

The scheme currently being reported uses the image of a flower and may refer to flowers or petals.

It appears the scheme is targeting students and young people, the CCPC said.

The body said that under the Consumer Protection Act 2007, pyramid schemes are illegal and those who knowingly participate in them are liable for prosecution.