Pyramid schemes continue to make the rounds on social media.

Who Is It Targeting: Social media users looking for a “fun” holiday diversion

What It Is: A pyramid scheme that requires you to entice others to join in

What Are They After: In pyramid schemes, participants make the required payment, which goes to the person who got them to join. The participants then turn around and recruit a specific number of people to join at the same amount, and that money is supposed to go to them. Their small investment up to the chain supposedly results in more people giving them that same amount.

There’s a pyramid scheme making the rounds on Facebook called the Secret Sisterhood Gift Exchange. It seems harmless—get six friends to send you a $10 gift, and they’ll do the same—but it is actually against the law. It also can lead to losing money on purchasing and shipping gifts, but even worse, could mean exposing your information to someone with dishonorable intentions.

How You Can Avoid It:

  • Even if your friends on Facebook share a cute idea, think through the ramifications.
  • Never share your personal information with strangers online, especially when it comes to shipping addresses or payment methods.
  • If you really want to do something fun and meaningful for the holidays, take the money you might have spent on a “game” like this one and donate it to a charitable organization in your community.

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at (888) 400-5530. Find more information about current scams and alerts here. For full details of this scam check out this article from The Independent.