Why you should avoid the Secret Sister Gift Exchange on social media

Marco Green
November 15, 2018

The post is a hoax that has been going around for some time and the U.S. Postal Inspection service says it's now making its return in time for the holidays.

Don't fall for it - it's a scam!

The same scam has surfaced in previous years, too.

A holiday gift exchange scam is back and the Better Business Bureau is warning consumers not to participate.

The idea seems simple: Send a $10 gift to a stranger and invite six friends to join in. However, according to Snopes, only a handful of people claimed to have actually received a gift, and no one reported receiving as much as 36 gifts.

The BBB calls it a modern version of a "chain letter" scheme, or "pyramid scheme".

Law enforcement warns that while you may not be prosecuted, you would probably be left empty handed, and what's really concerning is that by signing up for this, your name and address could get into the wrong hands. Don't pass along a chain letter, whether it's mail, email, or a social media message. If you can not complete this within 1 week please notify me, as it isn't fair to the ladies who have participated and are waiting for their own gifts to arrive. It is highly unlikely you will ever receive a gift, especially if you are further down the chain.

Start With Trust®. Check with BBB before becoming involved in a suspicious and possibly illegal activity.

Chain letters via social media and US mail that involve money or valuable items and promise big returns are illegal.

The Better Business Bureau offers this advice: Ignore the invitation. Do not give out personal information to anyone. Despite the claims, a chain letter will never make you rich.

Some chain letters try to win your confidence by claiming they're legal and endorsed by the government.

Victims will expose their personal data if they take part and, as noted by the online fact-checking website Snopes, it is simply an updated form of the illegal "chain letter" scheme.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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