That 'Secret Sister' Gift Exchange? It's a Scam

Don't fall for it, outlets warn
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 23, 2020 4:40 AM CST
Don't Fall for Social Media Gift Exchange Scam
In this March 29, 2018, file photo, the logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York's Times Square.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

It's the holiday season, which means it's time for news outlets' annual reminder to readers to steer clear of a common Christmas-themed online scam. Posts about so-called "Secret Sister" gift exchanges proliferate social media around this time of year, asking for "six women" who want to spread some joy by purchasing just one single gift, then receiving "six to 36" gifts in return. As USA Today explains in its list of seven reasons to stay far away from such appeals, it might sound nice, but in reality it's simply a pyramid scheme. While the first few people to post about it may receive some gifts, those lower in the pyramid likely won't. It's also technically a chain letter, and those are illegal if they request money or other items be sent. The Better Business Bureau is even warning about the scams, WKBN reports. (Much more on why you should skip the exchanges here.)

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