Don’t Fall For This Old Holiday Gift Exchange Scam

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Though December usually brings good tidings and joy, people can also easily prey on the generosity of others. ABC 13 writes that the “secret sister gift exchange” has returned online, and it’s best if you don’t participate in this scam. describes the posts that many will see on their Facebook timelines or on internet forums like Reddit. The post will suggest that friends join in on “…a process that involved sending one present (commonly valued at $10) and receiving 36 in return. Participants who opted into the ‘secret sister’ exchange were instructed to send a gift to the first ‘sister’ on the list, move the second on the list to the first spot, and put their own name into the second spot.”

As ABC 13 points out, often this call to action is posted by someone who doesn’t realize it’s a scam, and it can sound very appealing to many generous people. The problem is that the “secret sister gift exchange” simply doesn’t work. At most, participants might receive one gift, but they definitely won’t see 36 in return since, mathematically, it doesn’t add up. The “exchange” resembles a pyramid scheme, and it’s actually illegal to participate. Additionally, your name and address could get into the wrong hands. Warn your friends to not fall for this deceptively fun-looking scam.