Don’t Get Scammed By the Secret Sisters Gift Exchange This Christmas
If there's one thing that I absolutely cannot stand about social media lately, it's the number of pyramid schemes targeting me!
Ladies, you've been there right? You get really excited to see a message from an old friend from high school or college pop-up in your inbox. "Hey, saw you on my feed the other day and thought I'd drop by to see how you're doing!" You're excited to reconnect, but the next message? They're pitching you to buy lip gloss, skincare products, leggings, ketones or join their fitness group. UGH! No thank you! I don't want to buy your crap.
Now that the holidays have arrived, you're probably seeing more of those messages or an invited to participate in a "Secret Sister" gift exchange. The message, similar to old school chain letters, promises that if you buy your secret sister a gift valued at $10, you'll receive anywhere from six to thirty six gifts in return. During the holidays, everyone enjoys receiving gifts and it sounds pretty harmless, right?
WRONG! According to KTVB, not only is the "Secret Sister" gift exchange yet another pyramid scheme only benefiting the person who got the ball rolling, it's completely illegal! The United States Postal service explains you could be committing a felony because chain letters like "Secret Sister" are prohibited under the same federal law that prohibits lotteries. In fact, if you get one of these letters in the mail, you're asked to submit it to a Postal Inspector for investigation as it violates Title 18, United States Code, Section 1302.
Taking part in Secret Sister also opens you up to the ugly world of identity theft as your address, phone number and other personal information are sent to complete strangers who may not be so honest or stand-up in the future.