PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — These days you can find just about everything you want on Facebook: gift exchange ideas, gift ideas, even part-time work. But be careful because the Better Business Bureau is warning that what you see on Facebook may not be as it seems.
For example, a wine gift exchange. Posts on Facebook read: “All you have to do is send one bottle of wine to the first name on an email type list and in return receive as many as 36 bottles of wine.” Looks like the only catch is the bottle must be at least $15.
“Very bad idea. These have been around for a very, very long time and they’re also known as gifting clubs, and it’s really a pyramid scam which is illegal to do,” said Warren King with the Better Business Bureau.
The “secret sister” gift exchange is very similar.
“I’m looking for amazing women to take part in a gift exchange,” is how it’s presented on Facebook. Again, be very careful.
“It’s a promise of receiving something in addition of what you’re sending out, and in some states it’s gambling. It’s a violation of a gambling act,” King said.
Some other holiday scams may be harder to spot. Desperate for the hottest toy this season? You may be better off standing in line, in hopes of getting one, rather than trying to find one from a website you’ve never used before.
“What we see are either knockoffs or ads promoting great sales with once in a life time prices on these hot items make sure you know who you’re dealing with online,” King said.
Who doesn’t want extra money for the holidays, maybe pick up some part time work, say working from home? Not so fast.
“You have to be very careful on opening up attachments you’re not familiar with because they may be malware, they may be ransom ware, they may be illegal scams that can steal your personal identification,” King said.
Not every deal is a bad deal. But know who you’re dealing with. It could save you a lot of aggravation in the end.