Can the Secret Sister Gift Exchange Land You In Jail?
The holidays are supposed to be fun right?! One Holiday tradition could land you in jail if you aren't careful and most people don't even know it.
JUST SOME INNOCENT INTERNET FUN RIGHT?
I'm pretty sure most of us have said we would participate in or have been tagged in those Secret Santa Gift Exchange posts on Facebook. They usually start about this time every single year and I swear before I know it I'm getting tagged by everyone. They seem fun and so easy. Who doesn't want a bunch of free gifts just for purchasing one $10 gift? Momma always told me if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
WHY THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU ADVISES AGAINST PARTICIPATING
Many have known this was a scam for quite some time now. However, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) likes to remind people of the risk they take if they decide to participate because it is in fact, illegal.
The BBB actually put out an article in September warning those on social media to be aware of new names for the Secret Sister Exchange and here's what it said according to their website;
The “Secret Sister” gift exchange campaign quickly became popular several years ago through Facebook posts promising participants would receive up to 36 gifts, in exchange for sending one gift. Each holiday season, the scheme pops back up. A newer version of this scam revolves around exchanging bottles of wine; another suggests purchasing $10 gifts online. You might see references to receiving "happy mail" or doing the exchange "for the good of the sisterhood." During the 2022 holiday season, be aware of variations of this theme that may crop up on social media.
Here's what they look like on Facebook and Instagram;
AND HERE'S WHY YOU COULD GO TO JAIL
According to the BBB;
It should be noted that pyramid schemes are illegal in the US and Canada. The U.S. Postal Inspection Services explains that these gift exchanges are considered a form of gambling and that participants could be subject to penalties such as jail time, fines, or a lawsuit for mail fraud.
There is another layer of danger to participating in these schemes. When signing up, the alleged campaign organizer is asking for personal information such as a mailing address or an email. With just a few pieces of information, cyber thieves could expose you to future scams or commit identity theft.
Here's something you could do instead of the secret sister exchange and do it just with your close friends.