Published: Thu, November 15, 2018
Economy | By

Watch Out For The ‘Secret Sister’ Facebook Scam

Watch Out For The ‘Secret Sister’ Facebook Scam

Thanks a bunch! I'm so excited!

"SECRET SISTER is back!"

It's also illegal, according to the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

If you receive a chain letter by mail, email, or social media, especially one that involves money or gifts, ignore it. Report the post to Facebook by clicking on the three little dots in the upper right corner of the post. I am looking for 6 or more ladies interested in a holiday gift exchange.


A gift exchange circulating again on social media asks users to send one gift valued at $10 or more to their "Secret Sister", promising up to 36 presents in return. Doesn't matter where you live - you are welcome to join. Seldom does anyone drop out because it's so much fun to send a gift to someone you may or may not know. and of course it's fun to receive.

The post, obtained by CBS News, encouraged users to comment, "I'm In", for more information; but doing so could lead to disappointment when participants receive very few or no presents in return for their efforts. "We're just seeing this on Facebook this time instead of the old way of using letters, and Facebook allows it to spread a lot faster".

An example of the Secret Sister scam posted to Facebook. Watch out for typos in these or similar posts, those can be signals of a scam, experts say.

Start With Trust®. Check with BBB before becoming involved in suspicious and possibly illegal activity. Do not give out personal information to anyone. But the BBB says it's illegal whether it's by mail or social media "if money or other items of value are requested with assurance of a sizable return for those who participate". Despite the claims, a chain letter will never make you rich. "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". A couple of my friends are participating", Burns said."This is a typical pyramid scheme.

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