Gina Florio
December 09, 2016 12:22 pm

One of the most exciting parts of the holiday season is the exchanging of gifts. A popular way to give and receive presents with your friends and family is taking part in a Secret Santa program. BUT! Beware of some of the Secret Santa-like gift exchange ideas floating around on Facebook, though, especially one called Secret Sister Gift Exchange, because it’s nothing more than a downright scam.

You’ve probably seen a friend, or a friend of a friend, post something on Facebook about a Secret Sister Gift Exchange, which seems like a fun way to connect with women across the country and exchange bottles of yummy wine. The blurb says it doesn’t matter where you live, as long as you’re a lover of wine you can benefit from this friendly exchange.

Gina Florio

It’s meant to go something like this: You send in one gift that’s $10 or more, and you get 6-36 gifts in return. If it sounds too good to be true to you, that’s because it is. It’s a pyramid scheme, and the Better Business Bureau reminded everyone in a statement that this kind of exchange is illegal.

There’s a wine version of the Secret Sister Gift Exchange floating around as well. It claims that, if you send in one bottle of wine that costs $15 or more, you’ll get between 6-36 bottles in return.

Golly, don’t we wish that were true! Not only is this a pyramid scheme, but you also might be inadvertently getting yourself into trouble, because there are some specific laws about shipping alcohol. The USPS doesn’t even allow it.

No matter how appealing it sounds, don’t buy into this scam. Just go old school and create your own Secret Santa group with people you know.