'Secret Sister' holiday gift exchange popping up on Facebook again is a scam, BBB says

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Thursday, November 19, 2020
'Secret Sister' gift exchange is back and it's a scam, BBB says
"Secret Sister" gift exchange circulating again on Facebook asks users to send one gift valued at $10 or more to get up to 36 gifts in exchange, the BBB says it's a "pyramid scheme."

SAN FRANCISCO -- If you have been tagged by a friend on Facebook, inviting you to take part in the "Secret Sister" holiday gift exchange -- don't do it.

The Better Business Bureau says it's a scam that's been around for years. The newest version mentions "super easy & fun!! Especially during this pandemic!"

"You only have to buy ONE gift valued at $10 or more and send it to ONE secret sister. (Hello AMAZON). Afterwards, you will receive 6-36 gifts in return," one version of the post reads. "You'll come home to a pile of packages for days !!!"

The BBB says while it may look like innocent fun, it's really an illegal pyramid scheme.

It may look like this:


"No matter what they claim, pyramid schemes will not make you rich. You will receive little to no money back on your "investment" or gift exchange," warned the BBB.

The BBB says providing your name, address and personal information to online friends you haven't met also makes you vulnerable to identity theft and other scams.

The bottom line is be wary of false claims.

The BBB recommends you ignore it or report the Facebook post by clicking in the upper righthand corner and selecting "report post" or "report photo."