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'Secret Sister Gift Exchange' on Facebook Is a Scam, BBB Warns

'Secret Sister Gift Exchange' on Facebook Is a Scam, BBB Warns

The "Secret Sister Gift Exchange" on Facebook is a scam, the Better Business Bureau warns. (Emily2k/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Thursday, 08 December 2016 03:01 PM

If you’ve received a message on Facebook asking you to participate in a "Secret Sister Gift Exchange," the Better Business Bureau wants you to know it is a scam and illegal.

The Better Business Bureau is warning the public not to participate in the "Secret Sister Gift Exchange, which requires you to send money or a gift to others in hopes of getting up to 36 gifts back.

There are several drawbacks to the gift exchange, including putting your address on a list where many you don’t know will be able to view it, the probability that you won’t get back any gifts, and the fact that the post office has made these exchanges illegal, calling them a form of a pyramid scheme, which constitutes gambling, according to Fox News.

The gift exchange — a modern take on the age-old chain letter — scam started last year on Facebook and is being circulated once again this year.

“To avoid this scam, the best thing to do is completely ignore it altogether,” the BBB said. “Do not give out personal information to anyone.”

“Chain letters via social media and the U.S. mail that involve money or valuable items and promise big returns are illegal,” the BBB went on. “If you start a chain letter or send one, you are breaking the law.”

Another version of the “Secret Sister Gift Exchange” is the “Secret Wine Bottle Exchange,” which is also illegal. The use of Facebook has allowed these pyramid schemes to spread much faster than the traditional mail route, the BBB warned.

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If you've received a message on Facebook asking you to participate in a "Secret Sister Gift Exchange," the Better Business Bureau wants you to know it is a scam and illegal.
secret sister, gift, exchange, scam, facebook
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2016-01-08
Thursday, 08 December 2016 03:01 PM
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