Secret Sister Gift Exchange
Secret Sister Gift Exchange Scam: How It Works
There is a big chance that you will be tagged these days by one of your Facebook friends with an invitation to join a Secret Sister Gift Exchange. If you do, you are promised to receive between 6 and 36 gifts from other registered participants.
This is one of the newest scams that have been occuring this Christmas and is currently making tons of identity theft victims. How does the scam work?
Watch the video below to see the Secret Sister Gift Exchange scam exposed:
The text that you might see on one of your Facebook friend's wall looks like this:
"Are you interested in a Holiday gift exchange? I don't care where you live – you are welcome to join. I need at least six ladies (or gentlemen) of any age to participate in a secret sister gift exchange. You only have to buy one gift valued at $10 or more and send it to one secret sister and you will receive 6-36 in return! Let me know if you are interested and I will send you the information. Please don't ask to participate if you are not willing to spend the $10.
TIS the season! And it's getting closer. Comment if you're in. I know we can all use a little pick me up. So what better way to brighten your day than a surprise gift."
Here is a screenshot of the Facebook post:
The person who tagged you a friend of yours that you trust, so you might join the list, as well as tag six of your own friends in a personal post. If you do that, what will happen is you will be required to provide all your personal information including Social Security Number ("to prove you are the real person who signed up") and address ("for the participant to know where to send your gifts to").
Besides being a pyramid scheme concept, this trick will lead to identity theft, which is why was set for in the first place. According to the National Postal Inspection Service's gambling and pyramid scheme laws, gift chains like this are illegal, and participant could be subject to penalties for mail fraud.
Secret Sister Exchange Gift Scam: How To Avoid
It's simple: don't get involved. Why would put all your personal information online, in the public space? Christmas time is a one of giving, but certainly not a time of personal information giving.
Secret Sister Exchange Gift Scam: How To Report
Make your family and friends aware of the Secret Sister Gift Exchange scam by sharing it on social media here. You can also officially report the scammers to Facebook or the Federal Trade Commission using the links below:
How To Protect Yourself More
If you want to be the first to find out the most notorious scams every week, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You'll receive periodical emails and we promise not to spam. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.
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