If you or any of your friends have received this message on social media ignore it and delete it!
With the holiday season in full swing many people have been participation in different “Pay it Forward” type of events. Unfortunately, this has caused many people to participate in phony games without even knowing it and they are losing money because of it.
One in particular that is scamming people left and right is the “Secret Sister Gift Exchange.” People all over have been receiving these messages explaining the “Secret Sister Gift Exchange” and are being encouraged to participate.
Basically what happens is the person gives a gift of $10 and then is supposed to receive 36 gifts in return because of the gift. You can read the full message with the game rules below:
Welcome to our secret sister gift exchange! Here’s how it works:
- Send one gift value at least $10 to secret sister #1 below.
- Remove secret sister’s name from #1; then move secret sister #2 to that spot.
- Add your name to #2 with your info.
- Then send this info to 6 other ladies with the updated name info
- Copy the secret sister request that I posted on my wall, to your own wall. If you cannot complete this within 1 week please notify me, as it isn’t fair to the ladies who have participated and are waiting for their own gifts to arrive. You might want to order directly from a web-based service (Amazon, or any other online shop) which saves a trip to the post office. Soon you should receive 36 gifts! What a deal, 36 gifts for giving just one! Be sure to include some information about yourself … some of your favorites. 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. You should begin receiving gifts in about 2 weeks if you get your letters out to your 6 people right away.
Although some random users did report receiving one gift, no one has actually seen all 36 gifts show up at their doorstep. It was basically a “repackaging of age-old chain letter gifting schemes.” The U.S. Postal Inspection Service, says that gift chains aren’t just “mathematically impossible” but that they are actually illegal.
“There’s at least one problem with chain letters. They’re illegal if they request money or other items of value and promise a substantial return to the participants. 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. (Chain letters that ask for items of minor value, like picture postcards or recipes, may be mailed, since such items are not things of value within the meaning of the law.)”
There are different variations of the Sister exchange, so make sure that you are alert and delete the messages when you receive them! You don’t want to mess around with this!