Beware of The ‘Secret Sister’s Gift Exchange’ Scam This Holiday Season
A social media scam from 2015 is popping up on Facebook feeds again. Be warned, if you take part, you may be breaking the law. The scam is aimed at women and seems harmless and fun. The wording can vary but it might sound something like this according to ABC -
"The Secret Sister gift exchange is back! I'm looking for six women who would be interested in a pre-holiday gift exchange. You only have to buy one $10 gift and send it to your secret sister. You will then received 6-36 gifts in return. Let me know if you're interested and I will send you the information for your secret sister. We all could use some happy mail!"
Here are some reasons from ABC not to participate -
- It's a pyramid scheme. The first people to join the gift exchange may receive gifts, but as later people respond, they get fewer gifts or no gifts at all. Only the person who started it benefits.
- It's illegal. They're classified as a chain letter, which is gambling and illegal if they request money or other items and promise a substantial return. "They don't work because the promise that all participants in a chain letter will be winners is mathematically impossible," the Postal Service said.
- ID theft. You could be the victim of identity theft. You're asked to provide an address, a phone number and other personal information that could be used by criminals in the future.
If it seems too good to be true, then it probably is!