Alert: Facebook Users Are Getting Ripped Off By A New Holiday Scam
“I honestly got that it was a scam when I first saw the post..."
Though it might seem minor compared to some of the extensive Internet frauds that came before it, reports have surfaced that social media users are being lured into a too-good-to-be-true pyramid scheme wrapped – quite literally – in the Christmas spirit.
Gift Exchange!!! This should be a blast!!!! I need 6 ladies of any age to participate in a secret sister gift… https://t.co/jLy3Y6074k
— Angela McLean Taylor (@SisterSolace) November 7, 2015
Business Insider shared an article by Christine DiGangi, who notes that the first complaints surfaced late last month regarding a program called ‘Secret Sister.’ The gift exchange allows volunteers to send a gift valued at roughly $10 to an existing member of the program. That new member is then reportedly instructed to sign up additional members, each of whom sends that person a gift.
Promoters of the racket promise that sending a single gift could net a user up to 36 presents in return. DiGangi explained that the concept is similar to that of swindlers behind chain letters of yesteryear, though the fact that this scam is playing out online gives organizers some added defense against existing laws.
“Even though the chain-letter portion of the secret sister scheme occurs online,” she wrote, “if any part of the exchange involves the mail, it’s illegal under [the Postal Lottery Statue], according to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s website.”