'Tis the season for holiday cheer and scams...
That's right. Now is the perfect time for scammers to get their hands on your personal information because more consumers are shopping online instead of in stores.
Scary thought right? Doesn't have to be if you know how to protect yourself.
A scam that made its rounds on social media in 2015 is popping up on Facebook feeds again. Be warned – if you take part in this modern day chain letter, you may even be breaking the law.
It’s the ‘Secret Sister’ gift exchange. The message asks you to buy a gift card of $10 or more, add your name to a list and then you’ll receive 36 gifts. Don’t fall for it. Police say it’s a scam.
The United States Postal Inspection Service says the following:
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.)
Recently, high-tech chain letters have begun surfacing. They may be disseminated over the Internet, or may require the copying and mailing of computer disks rather than paper. Regardless of what technology is used to advance the scheme, if the mail is used at any step along the way, it is still illegal.
Make sure to let your Facebook friends know, so they don't share it!