If you’re thinking about participating in “Secret Sister” gift exchanges so you can receive dozens of free gifts in the mail for a small donation, think again.

The claim is that if you participate in a Facebook “secret sister” gift exchange, you’ll receive 36 gifts in exchange for one $10 contribution. But is it too good to be true? Read on.


secret sister gift exchange hoax

The post instructed Facebook users to do the following:

Welcome to our secret sister gift exchange! Here’s how it works:

1) Send one gift value at least $10 to secret sister #1 below.

2) Remove secret sister’s name from #1; then move secret sister #2 to that spot.

3) Add your name to #2 with your info.

4) Then send this info to 6 other ladies with the updated name info

5) Copy the secret sister request that I posted on my wall, to your own wall. If you cannot complete this within 1 week please notify me, as it isn’t fair to the ladies who have participated and are waiting for their own gifts to arrive. You might want to order directly from a web-based service (Amazon, or any other online shop) which saves a trip to the post office. Soon you should receive 36 gifts! What a deal, 36 gifts for giving just one! Be sure to include some information about yourself … some of your favorites. Seldom does anyone drop out because it’s so much fun to send a gift to someone you may or may not know … and of course it’s fun to receive. You should begin receiving gifts in about 2 weeks if you get your letters out to your 6 people right away. h/t snopes

Be aware, the “secret sister” exchange is a total scheme. According to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, gift chains aren’t just “mathematically impossible”; they’re also illegal.

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