BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - It’s the time of year for gift-giving and possibly getting taken by online thieves.... a warning about the "Secret Sister" scheme that's making the social media rounds.
The Better Business Bureau in Birmingham says the Secret Sister gift Exchange is illegal. Secondly, it will violate your privacy. And it continues to circulate each year.
Primarily people have seen the posting om Facebook. They look and see that it says that giving one gift to a ‘secret sister’ will allow you to receive up to 36 gifts in return for the one you promised.
“In order for the secret sister scam to work you’ve got to give some of your personal information to total strangers in order to get the gifts that they promised. That’s always a bad idea,” says David Smitherman of the Better Business Bureau.
The scam however has been gaining in popularity. Since 2015, Facebook users have been encouraged to participate in the holiday gift exchange.
Personal information gets added to an existing list of people who have already provided their information, people that have never actually met before. Then you’re instructed to send a gift to that stranger along with their friends and contacts.
“A lot of times when people see things of social media, they believe it because it’s right there on social media. But this is one that you really don’t want to believe.” Smitherman says.
Smitherman warns that if you get an invitation to just ignore it. And to warn friends on Facebook about it so that they don’t get caught up in the holiday gift-giving scam.