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Christmas Gift Guide
Culture

Watch out for these holiday shopping scams on Facebook

The holiday season is upon us and unfortunately, so are gift exchange scammers on Facebook.

Getty Images/Caiaimage

Don't fall for these holiday shopping scams on Facebook.

CBS News/Screenshot from Facebook

Online shopping is a great alternative to braving busy malls this holiday season, but it's also a popular time for internet scams.

A couple such scams have reached the masses via Facebook. Masquerading as fun gift exchange services, "Secret Sister Gift Exchange" and "Secret Wine Bottle Exchange," are tricking Facebook users into sending a bottle of wine or other gift priced at $15 or more to their Facebook friends -- or so they think. These exchanges are actually pyramid schemes in disguise.

"While gift exchanges grow in popularity during the holiday season, BBB advises consumers to use caution when choosing one in which to participate," said the Better Business Bureau in a release. "According to the US Postal Inspection Service's gambling and pyramid scheme laws, gift chains like this are illegal and participants could be subject to penalties for mail fraud."

I did a quick search on my Facebook account and found that at least one friend had shared a post identical to the one displayed above, and a handful of other friends had responded to his post with interest. Uh-oh.

Since it looks like these scams are still kicking around on Facebook, be extra cautious before disclosing any personal information, such as your home address.

A representative from Facebook didn't immediately respond to our request for comment regarding whether they're actively working to block these scams from the site.

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