Secret Sister Gift Exchange
Secret Sister Gift Exchange
Ho Ho Hoax
The post goes something like this: Anyone interest in a secret sister gift exchange? It doesn’t matter where you live! You only have to buy ONE gift valued at $10 or more and sent it to one secret sister! You will receive up to 36 in return. Let me know if you’re interested and I will send you the information. (Please don’t ask to participate if you are not willing to spend the $10)
So of course when you see this, you want to join the fun but chances are you won’t receive the 36 gifts. You may not even receive one gift! Once you sign up, you then have to get 6 or more people to sign up under you and everyone else has to do the same. These scams, which are also known as “pyramid schemes,” existed long before social media and used to be conducted through the mail, according to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service
This is the same way the old-fashioned chain letters worked where you send a dollar to the person on the top of the list and you get dollar after dollar in return…..or do you? Not only is the gift exchange a scam, but according to the United States Postal Inspection Service, it is also illegal.
Paul Krenn, a spokesman for the USPIS, told BuzzFeed News that the hoax just ends up taking your money, in this case in the form of gifts. He said people shouldn’t be fooled by people who are posting they have received gifts, as it’s impossible for the hoax to deliver what it promises.
“As the gifts start to flow, early entrants may benefit,” he said. “However, for everyone to receive what they’ve been promised, each layer of the pyramid must attract new recruits. It’s mathematically impossible to sustain.”
He added that mathematically, by the time the hoax got to the 11th round everyone in America would have to be involved in the scheme for it to deliver the gifts it promises.
“The odds are likely greater that Santa Claus, himself, would fly his sleigh into the middle of Times Square to personally distribute the gifts,” Krenn said.
Also according to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), gift chains aren’t just ‘mathematically impossible,’ they’re also illegal.” Basically, if the $10-plus present you put in the mail is considered by the Post Office to be “of value” and the exchange promises the participant a “substantial return,” the USPIS declares, game over. “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.”
The other thing, you are sharing your address with people who you don’t even know. Not saying that they will use it in the wrong way but since people are joining under other people and you don’t have a clue who they are but they have your address. What is suggested if you want to enjoy a gift exchange, get a group of friends that you know and have your one fun Secret Santa. That way it’s just a friendly gift exchange instead of a HO HO HOAX
2 people have liked this post!