It might still be November but it hasn’t stopped a legion of feel good ads Coca Cola trucks trickling into our day-to-day lives to tell us Christmas is coming.
Like it or loath it, ‘tis the season for giving. Or, if you’re an internet fraudster, the season of taking things from the gullible.
Currently fooling our Facebook using pals from across the pond, the ‘Secret Sister Gift Exchange’ scam is an elaborate pyramid scheme that boasts that it will give users 36 different gifts for just £6.50.
The chain letter requires you to send $10 or £6.50 to other users and then ask six other people to do the same. The complex set-up for the scam is a classic illegal pyramid scheme that whilst genuinely being beneficial to some, is mathematically unsustainable.
Meaning more recent additions to the scheme will receive less rewards than those present from the beginning.
According to the US Postal service:
“The people at the top of the ‘pyramid’ benefit most and might actually receive the items promised.
“However, for everyone to receive what they’ve been promised, each layer of the pyramid must attract new recruits. It’s mathematically impossible to sustain.
“Consider a typical pyramid that involves six individuals in the chain. By the time you’ve reached the fourth level of participation, nearly 1,300 recruits must be on board.
“Upon reaching the sixth level of participation, you’d have to attract more recruits than could be seated in Chicago’s Wrigley Field.”
Which basically means – if you’re asked to join the present giving plan, say no unless you take great pleasure from being take advantage of by internet fraudsters.