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Keep an Eye Out for the Latest Facebook Scams

By Scam Awareness | January 7, 2016

"Secret Sister" Gift Exchange

As an earlier Buzzfeed post also reported, many social media users are seeing people post about "Secret Sister." This scam claims that when you give $10 and pass the game to someone else, you will receive gifts in return. However, it is extremely unlikely that you will ever receive a gift back because "the exchange requires a lot of people to keep it going, and your odds of even getting one gift back are slim" (Fox 13 Memphis).  According to one report, by the time you get to the 11th level of the exchange, it would require the entire population of the U.S. to participate to make it work. Aside from the unrealistic expectations of this "secret sister" scam, according to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service it's against the law to "request money or other items of value and promise a substantial return to the participants." Chain letters such as these that request money are considered a form of "gambling" and violate the Postal Lottery law.

Lottery Scams

Lottery scams are all the rage, especially on Facebook. We've heard from some of you on social media that you receive messages or posts claiming you have won large sums of money. These messages usually request money to cover some sort of processing fees for your winnings and once you send them their requested money, you never get any back. Unless you can confirm who and where the money is going to, do not send or wire money. And if someone claims you need to give money in order to get money back, it is more than likely a scam.

Free Airline Tickets

Another Facebook scam that's been circulating for a while is one that promises free airline tickets. The posts ask you to share a photo, like the company's page, or comment on a post. If you are wondering if this offer is real, call the airline directly or visit their site. Also, make sure the Facebook page is legitimate by looking for the blue check mark on their Facebook profile which means their page has been verified by Facebook. As always, be wary of clicking on any links which could result in the installation of malicious software onto your computer or stolen personal information. 

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