Secret Sister Holiday Gift Exchange Promises 36 Gifts-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
A Secret Sister Holiday Gift Exchange making the rounds on Facebook promises that anyone who signs up to give one $10 gift will receive 36 gifts in return.
Basic math tells us that the Secret Sister Holiday Gift Exchange offer circulating on Facebook is a scam.
If you were to give one gift for $10 and received 36 gifts in return, 34 out of 36 people participating in the exchange would have to give a gift without receiving one. Unless, of course, those 34 people each recruited six more people who, in turn, each recruited six more people to keep the unbalanced chain of gift giving alive.
If that sounds familiar, it should. By definition, the Secret Sister Holiday Gift Exchange is a pyramid scheme.
The Secret Sister Gift Exchange (sometimes just called a Secret Santa Gift Exchange) blew up on Facebook in November 2015. Posts that were shared among Facebook friends read:
OK lady friends!! This is awesome! Are you interested in a Holiday Gift exchange? It doesn’t matter where you live — you are welcome to join. I need 6 (or more) ladies of any age to participate in a “secret sister” gift exchange. You only have to buy ONE gift valued at $10 or more and send it to one secret sister and you could receive 36 in return!
Let me know if you are interested and I will send you the information. Please don’t ask to participate if you are not willing to spend the $10 and mail your gift to someone. I love getting mail so I’m totally excited to be doing this!
TIS THE SEASON! This is actually not spam! First 6 friends (or more!) who commit I will private message you details!
A gift exchange in which you give one gift and receive 36 in return sounds pretty attractive. If you were to respond to that Facebook post and ask for more details, here’s what you’d learn about how the Secret Sister Gift Exchange works in a follow up message:
1 Send one gift valued at $10 or more to the Secret Friend that is placed NUMBER ONE below.
2 Remove that Secret Friends’ name from #1, then move the #2 Friend up to the #1 spot.
3 Add your name to the #2 spot with your address.
4 Then send this info to the 6 or more other friends you’ve signed up with the updated info.
5 Copy the Secret Santa request that I posted and post it on your wall. It’s okay if you don’t have 6 people sign up. Just try to do your best!
NOTE: If you cannot complete this, and send your gift, within one week, please notify me. It isn’t fair to the people who already have participated and are waiting fro their gifts to arrive.
So, the whole concept of the Secret Sister Gift Exchange is to continuously recruit new people to buy gifts for the person on the top of the list (hopefully you). Those people will then (in theory) recruit new people to buy gifts for them, and the circle will continue indefinitely.
A pyramid scheme is an illegal investment scam in which new recruits are “the base” of an investment pyramid and provide capital that is given to earlier investors who are above them in the hierarchy, according to Investopedia.
In order to avoid pyramid schemes like this one, the FBI suggests that you “be wary” of investment opportunities that require you to bring in subsequent investors to increase your profit or recover your initial investment.
Click here for more information about avoiding pyramid schemes like the Secret Sisters Gift Exchange on Facebook.