Don’t Trust These Holiday “Gift Exchanges” On Social Media

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gift exchange scam

Source: Instant Checkmate

Tis the season for holiday scams!

Scam artists are always at work, but during the holiday’s they ramp up their efforts in order to take advantage of people’s holiday cheer. Don’t fall victim to these scams and always be alert.

Below you will find one of the most popular online ‘Christmas scams’. Take a look, so you know exactly how it works and you can be aware that it is in fact – a scam.

gift exchange scam

An example of the famous scam. Source: Good Housekeeping

This scam is just a high-tech version of the old chain letter pyramid scheme, and it’s become rather popular on social media since 2015.

The promise is that for $10, you will be able to share a gift with someone else…while in return…you will receive anywhere from 6+ gifts sent to you.

How these “gift exchanges” supposedly work. Source: Life With Lisa

The scam has been such an issue that the Better Business Bureau has weighed in, warning customers not to believe everything they read online. The BBB says you won’t just be disappointed by the scam, you could actually wind up in big trouble with the law.

The scam used to be just $5 cash and then it has turned into a gift exchange. There are even versions where you are asked to send wine and other goodies.

Pyramid schemes are against the law and actually classified as a form of gambling. Therefore…getting involved in one could get you into trouble with the fuzz. Although it’s unlikely that you will have your door kicked in by the feds over $10…it’s still wise to simply stay away from these emails and social media posts.

The Better Business Bureau recommends you handle the scam like this:

  • Ignore any posts you see about gift exchanges on social media, and don’t give out any personal information.
  • Remember that chain letter scams are illegal, and you could get in trouble for participating in one.
  • Remember you will almost certainly get nothing back on your “investment.”
  • Despite what some posts say, these chain letter schemes are never endorsed by the government or the USPS.

Have a Happy Holiday and be safe!