BBB: Secret Santa style gift exchange is a scam

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Monroe, La, (KNOE) - When Jennifer Pearson saw a gift exchange on Facebook, she got excited about giving gifts and getting some in return.

“Something good, something really good,” she said.

So she did what the post said.

"I immediately sent out a gift to somebody that I didn't know and anxiously awaited for my gift.”

And she waited... and waited. How many gifts did she get?

“Zero, zero gifts,” she said.

Jo Ann Deal with the Better Business Bureau says she's not alone.

"This concept is basically a pyramid scheme," said Deal.

It goes by several names: "secret sister gift exchange", "holiday gift exchange", there's even one for wine.
You buy one gift and get between 6 and 36 in return.
“If it's too good to be true, it's probably too good to be true," said Deal.

The problem is the gifts hardly ever come to you.
But someone on Facebook has your personal info and the gift you sent.
Snopes.com debunked the sister gift exchange.

The Better Business Bureau says they have a website to help you out too.

"They should always go to scam tracker and just put in a keyword and see what the hotspots are," said Deal.

Pearson says she learned a valuable lesson here.

“Just because it's on Facebook does not mean its real and does not mean it's gonna work,” said Pearson.

And the next time she swaps gifts...
“In person, with my friends for sure, no more Facebook.”

And hopefully no more scams either.

“No I wouldn't do it again, and I didn't do it again,” said Pearson.

The Better Business Bureau's 12 Scams of Christmas are as follows:
1. Look-Alike Websites
2. Social Media Gift Exchange
3. Grandparent Scams
4. Temporary Holiday Jobs
5. Free Gift Cards
6. E-Cards
7. Fake Shipping Notifications
8. Phony Charities
9. Letters from Santa
10. Unusual Forms of Payments
11. Travel Scams
12. Puppy Scam

To check to see if any deal is a scam, visit https://www.bbb.org/scamtracker/us