Don't Be Fooled By Facebook's 'Secret Sister' Gift Exchange Scam, Authorities Warn

nito100/iStock via Getty Images Plus
nito100/iStock via Getty Images Plus

The season of giving is upon us, and scammers are already finding ways to take advantage of it. To avoid wasting money and putting personal information at risk, people should keep an eye out for the "secret sister gift exchange"—a chain letter scheme that's making the rounds on Facebook, authorities warn.

The scam presents itself as a secret Santa-type gift exchange. If six people agree to take part in the fun by sending a $10 gift to their "secret sister," the posts read, they will receive six to 36 gifts in return.

The set-up sounds appealing, but it's actually just a spin on the classic pyramid scheme. The first person to share the post may get some free gifts, but most people who respond will mail out their items only to get little to nothing back.

If the scam sounds familiar, that's because it's been circulating on Facebook around the holidays for years, and has already resurfaced for the 2019 season. Authorities hope more users will recognize it as a scam, with the Better Business Bureau warning consumers to use caution when signing up for online gift exchanges.

The fact that it doesn't pay off isn't the only reason to avoid the scam. Whether they're shared through social media or by mail, pyramid schemes are illegal "if money or other items of value are requested with assurance of a sizable return for those who participate," according to the BBB. The gift exchange could also lead to identity theft, with many posts asking for personal information such as your phone number and home address.

No matter what time of year it is, you should always be mindful of scams when browsing email or social media. Here are some of the most common ones to look out for.

[h/t USA Today]

Wayfair’s Fourth of July Clearance Sale Takes Up to 60 Percent Off Grills and Outdoor Furniture

Wayfair/Weber
Wayfair/Weber

This Fourth of July, Wayfair is making sure you can turn your backyard into an oasis while keeping your bank account intact with a clearance sale that features savings of up to 60 percent on essentials like chairs, hammocks, games, and grills. Take a look at some of the highlights below.

Outdoor Furniture

Brisbane bench from Wayfair
Brisbane/Wayfair

- Jericho 9-Foot Market Umbrella $92 (Save 15 percent)
- Woodstock Patio Chairs (Set of Two) $310 (Save 54 percent)
- Brisbane Wooden Storage Bench $243 (Save 62 percent)
- Kordell Nine-Piece Rattan Sectional Seating Group with Cushions $1800 (Save 27 percent)
- Nelsonville 12-Piece Multiple Chairs Seating Group $1860 (Save 56 percent)
- Collingswood Three-Piece Seating Group with Cushions $410 (Save 33 percent)

Grills and Accessories

Dyna-Glo electric smoker.
Dyna-Glo/Wayfair

- Spirit® II E-310 Gas Grill $479 (Save 17 percent)
- Portable Three-Burner Propane Gas Grill $104 (Save 20 percent)
- Digital Bluetooth Electric Smoker $224 (Save 25 percent)
- Cuisinart Grilling Tool Set $38 (Save 5 percent)

Outdoor games

American flag cornhole game.
GoSports

- American Flag Cornhole Board $57 (Save 19 percent)
- Giant Four in a Row Game $30 (Save 6 percent)
- Giant Jenga Game $119 (Save 30 percent)

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Does the Dryer Eat Your Socks? Use This Simple Laundry Hack to Solve the Problem

You never have to search for your missing socks again.
You never have to search for your missing socks again.
m01229, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Doing laundry is never fun, but when your pile of apparel emerges with socks missing, it can turn into an investigation worthy of a homicide detective. Whether they're Nike, Gucci, or Gold Toe, no sock is immune to foul play—and typically, no suspect can ever be located.

Socks get “lost” when they cling to the washer drum, disappear into a pair of pants, or fall out of the hamper on their way back to the sock drawer. It’s also possible for a washer to “eat” a sock by allowing it to tumble out of the drum and get stuck in an inaccessible portion of the appliance. Some socks have even made it to the water drain or pump in their desperate bid to avoid your feet.

Reader’s Digest has a solution to this phenomenon: Use a safety pin. When you take your socks off, clip them together with the pin. By utilizing this sock buddy system, the pair will never be separated in the wash. It’s also far less likely for a pair to be obscured by other clothing or to cling to a hidden surface like the washer or fall by the wayside in a crevice.

If you’re concerned safety pins might damage your washer, you can opt for plastic sock clips like Loc A Sock. A pack of 40 clips is just $15 on Amazon.

[h/t Reader’s Digest]

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