From Arkansas Attorney General’s Office
Arkansans should be weary of the Secret Santa, or Secret Sister, scam making its way across social media once again this year. The scam requests other users send relatively inexpensive gifts to others, in exchange for the promise of receiving gifts. At the very least, participants will send gifts without getting anything in return. At worst, scammers use personal information posted on social media to participate, often leading to identity theft.
“The Secret Santa scam often starts with a scammer posting a request for friends to participate, which is then innocently shared and re-posted over and over by linked friends,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “But this innocent request can be a dangerous scam and open Arkansans up to identity theft.”
Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips for consumers to avoid this holiday scam:
- Consumers should never disclose their personal information to an unknown entity unless they know it to be a trusted source as such disclosures could result in identity theft or the opening of other accounts in their name.
- It is unlikely that a consumer will actually receive gifts in response to such a scheme; thus, if something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
- Review guidance available from the U.S. Postal Service because it may be illegal.
- Consumers should safeguard their banking and personal, financial information in order to prevent financial losses due to scams.
- When using the internet, consumers should ensure that they are using a verified, secure, and encrypted website when sharing any personal or financial information online.
For more information about other common scams and consumer-related issues, please call the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.