Secret Sister gifting scam? On Facebook

Just wondering if anyone has anything on the ‘new’ secret sister gifting scam (I assume it’s a scam)
Requests come in saying give 1 gift & receive 6-36 from others.
Sounds like a mathematical impossibility & or a pyramid scheme.
US sites, like scopes, have it as illegal but that’s based on US not Aus law.
Can anyone provide information re Aus law on this?


I think you will find such schemes are illegal here too.

It sounds more like a Ponzi scheme to me. (

A Ponzi scheme is “a form of fraud in which belief in the success of a non-existent enterprise is fostered by the payment of quick returns to the first investors from money invested by later investors”. In other words the founders suck others into joining. The founders get a reward. The second tier suck more in. They get a reward, and often reward the tier above. And so on until people stop joining and the whole thing collapses, and the latecomers are left with the losses. Problem is you just never know when it is going to collapse.


Hi @panlezark, I was talking with our Senior Consumer Rights Adviser regarding the legalities here. You might find her article on pyramid schemes interesting.

In short, these schemes tend to pop-up under different names from time to time, often moving from one country to another, and there are hefty penalties both for the organisers and for individuals who unwittingly promote the schemes. Thanks for highlighting it here.


Classic ponzi scheme.

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Why do Ponzi schemes work? because a lot of people want to believe in santa claus & the tooth fairy and strangers want to give you something for nothing.

How any rational educated person can think that by buying and giving away one anonymous gift will result in receiving a far greater qty of anonymous gifts in return, is beyond me. A simple consideration of the economics of the proposal is laughable.

Allegedly it was PT Barnum that said ‘there is a sucker born every minute’.