The Better Business Bureau is warning of a holiday scam that may seem in line with the holiday spirit, but is far from altruistic.
They warn of online “Secret Santa” type scams, whereby people give one gift and are promised a slew of presents in return.
In the past, this has been dubbed as a “Secret Sister” campaign, and has also involved wine exchanges or the online purchase of $10 gifts.
Kristen Matthews, marketing and communications specialist at the BBB, explains that these are classified as pyramid schemes and are illegal in Canada.
She cautions against giving out personal information, saying scammers only need tidbits of information to do nefarious things.
Matthews also warns of changing language used in the schemes, and emotional appeals such as “Grinches who say this is a scam…it’s 2020.”
She explains that people will often ignore the warning signs of scams because they are looking forward to the return but, ultimately, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.