Social Media Secret Sister Gift Exchange Is a Ho Ho Hoax & Illegal in NY
Don't fall for the 'Secret Sister Gift Exchange' that's been circulating on Facebook and other social media sites. It's a ho-ho-hoax.
The holiday season is a prime time for gift exchange scams. One of the most popular is the Secret Sister scam that comes around every year. You may think you are sending holiday cheer, but what you may actually be doing is providing your address to strangers who are preying upon your goodwill.
Illegal in New York
Not only is Secret Sister a scam, but it's also against the law and the US Postal Service has posted a warning on the hoax.
"They're illegal if they request money or other items of value and promise a substantial return to the participants."
How Scam Works
The Secret Sister scam asks for women who are interested in an easy holiday gift exchange, no matter where they live and it usually comes from someone you know, making you think it's harmless.
You just need to buy one gift valued at $10-$20 and send it to your Secret Sister.
"I will tell you who she is. Then you will receive 6 to 36 or possibly more gifts in return. Let me know if you are interested by commenting below, and I will send you information about your ‘Sister’."
Postal Inspectors say the scam is similar to a pyramid scheme. Some people may receive gifts but for everyone to receive what they've been promised new recruits must constantly join the group it's mathematically impossible to sustain.
We all like to give and receive gifts, especially during the holidays. And we all need a little extra cheer this year. But let's not do it on social media.