Don't fall for these holiday gift exchange scams on Facebook - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Don't fall for these holiday gift exchange scams on Facebook

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FOX19 -

Some Facebook users are inviting friends to join “gift exchanges” in which participants can receive multiple gifts in the mail.

While it sounds like a sweet deal for the holiday season, the “exchanges” are likely scams that could also be illegal.

This year, the “Secret Sister Gift Exchange” and “Secret Wine Bottle Exchange” are spreading on Facebook.

The pitch sounds promising: You buy a $15 bottle of wine and send it to a secret wine lover, and then you get anywhere from 6-26 bottles of wine yourself. The “Secret Sister Gift Exchange” involves a similar promise.

The Better Business Bureau warns that these exchanges are pyramid schemes based on fuzzy math.

Federal law regards schemes like this as a form of gambling, and involving the Postal Service could leave you on the hook for mail fraud.

Then there’s the issue of sending alcohol to strangers, who may or may not be of legal drinking age.?

[Kentucky AG warns of 'mystery shopper' employment scam]

[Woman says she was scammed after purchasing two gift cards]

“Pyramid schemes are illegal either by mail or on social media if money or other items of value are requested with assurance of a sizeable return for those who participate,” the BBB wrote in a news release when this scam first appeared in 2016.

The Simply Money point: Your friends may have posted this with the best of warm holiday intentions, but you really should stay away from this one. 

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