"Secret Sister" gift exchange on Facebook returns - and it's a scam

Lloyd Doyle
November 15, 2018

If the scam sounds familiar, that's because it's been circulating on Facebook around the holidays for at least the past four years.

The scam then promises 36 gifts total because your friends will add a gift to the exchange. I am looking for 6 or more ladies interested in a holiday gift exchange.

Dubbed the "Secret Sister" scam, it starts with a post asking a user to buy a gift worth $10 or more and to add your name to the list. Soon you should receive 36 gifts!

The idea seems simple: Send a $10 gift to a stranger and invite six friends to join in.

As the holiday season approaches, posts about gift exchanges become more common, but they could do more harm than good to those who sign up to participate. This is so much fun! Let me know if you're interested, and I will send you information about your sister.????We could all use some happy mail!


"Of course, starting this gift exchange comes with a catch-you need to disclose your personal information, such as your home address". Who's in? Just comment "I'm in"??

"Illegal: The U.S. Postal Inspection service says chain letters are considered "'illegal if they request money or other items of value and promise a substantial return to the participants.

The Better Business Bureau also said participants will likely receive nothing, and the best way to avoid this scam is to ignore the post.

Chances are you will receive little or no money back on your "investment".

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service offers information about chain letters at www.usps.gov/websites/depart/inspect, or you can call the Postal Inspection Service toll-free at 1-888-877-7644. If you start a chain letter or send one, you are breaking the law. "Chain letters are a form of gambling, and sending them through the mail (or delivering them in person or by computer, but mailing money to participate) violates Title 18, United States Code, Section 1302, the Postal Lottery Statute".

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