Advertisements
LATEST STORIES

Connecticut BBB Warns Consumers to Stay Away from Online “Holiday Wine Bottle Exchange”

Facebook post

Facebook post

Connecticut Better Business Bureau is urging consumers to steer clear of social media posts about gift exchanges that appear to be pyramid schemes.

On Facebook for example, the Holiday Wine Bottle Exchange is spreading like wildfire, without victims knowing they are breaking the law, and they likely may receive nothing at all.

Social media posts say the sender needs between six and 35 wine lovers to participate in a secret wine bottle exchange.  To get a piece of the action, the posting says “You only have to buy one bottle of wine worth about $15 or more, and send it to another wine lover.”  The post then promises participants will “…receive from six to 36 wine bottles in return, depending on how many wine drinkers join.”

The pitch is alluring, but is it too good to be true?  You bet, according to Connecticut Better Business Bureau spokesman Howard Schwartz.

“This is reminiscent of chain letters of years past.  In this case, the online presence spreads offers – good and bad – far and wide, quickly raking in significant amounts of money and gifts.  More important, the scheme itself is illegal.”

The people at the top of the pyramid are also looking for personal information, such as your home address.

The Wine Bottle Exchange is similar to the “Secret Sister” gift scheme, in which people are urged to send $10 dollars and receive up to 36 gifts in return.

The United States Postal Inspection Service says gambling, pyramid schemes and gift chains like this are illegal.   

At face value, the Holiday Wine Bottle Exchange might seem reasonable:  In theory, six people who are involved will invite six more friends to participate, with donations being bumped up the chain to higher-ups.

“Pyramid schemes are against the law, whether by mail, email or social media channels, especially if the organizers are asking for money or other valuable items, with the assurance of a generous return for those who participate,” adds Schwartz.  “Beware.”

Click here for example.

If you receive a chain letter by mail, email or social media, especially one that involves money or gifts, Better Business Bureau recommends:

  • Check with BBB before becoming involved in suspicious and possibly illegal activity. Better Business Bureau urges victims or would be victims to report the incident to BBB’s Scam Tracker, at https://www.bbb.org/scamtracker/connecticut
  • To avoid this scam, the best thing to do is completely ignore it altogether. Do not give out personal information to anyone or share or repost it.
  • Chain letters via social media and U.S. mail that involve money or valuable items and promise big returns are illegal.  If you start a chain letter or send one, you are breaking the law.
  • Chances are you will receive little or no money back on your “investment.” Despite the claims, a chain letter will never make you rich.
  • Some chain letters try to win your confidence by claiming they’re legal and endorsed by the government.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service offers information about chain letters at www.usps.gov/websites/depart/inspect, or you can call the Postal Inspection Service toll-free at 1-888-877-7644.

Advertisements

ABOUT THE BRISTOL ROUNDUP

The Roundup is a popular magazine style publication covering local news, events and information about the greater Bristol Connecticut area. The Roundup, started by Bristol native Mike Uchalid currently has over 5,400 subscriptions and a local social media following of over 50,000 readers across multiple sites, pages and groups. The Roundup provides accurate information, events, news and so much more. We hope you enjoy the site!

MORE NEWS FROM ROUNDUP PARTNER: FOX 61

Above and beyond! Officer unclogs street drains in bare feet during flooding

Above and beyond! Officer unclogs street drains in bare feet during flooding

FREMONT, Ohio — Two police officers in Fremont, Ohio went above and beyond the call of duty on Friday as it “rained cats and dogs,” according to WJW. A post on the Fremont Police Department’s Facebook page shows a photo of one officer in his bare feet trying to unclog grates and drains to get water moving on the road. The Facebook post says:  “Good evening Fremont! As you all know its been raining “cats and dogs” out there today. And […]

5 injured after scaffolding collapses into NYC street

5 injured after scaffolding collapses into NYC street

NEW YORK — Multiple people were injured when scaffolding fell onto a SoHo street Sunday morning according to PIX11 news. The Department of Buildings was called after receiving reports of a sidewalk shed collapse in front of a 12-story commercial office building on 568 Broadway, near Prince Street, sources tell PIX11 News. Four people suffered minor injuries, and one suffered a moderate injury from the incident, NYPD said. The Department of Buildings is investigating. The sidewalk shed was installed in […]

Chicago will sue U.S. Steel over toxic metal spill into Lake Michigan

Chicago will sue U.S. Steel over toxic metal spill into Lake Michigan

CHICAGO — Chicago is taking legal action against U.S. Steel after the company dumped more toxic metal into Lake Michigan last month according to WGNTV. In late October, nearly 60 pounds of chromium leaked into a Lake Michigan tributary after a wastewater treatment system malfunctioned at the U.S. Steel factory in northwest Indiana. It was the second time it’s happened in the past six months. Mayor Rahm Emanuel says U.S. Steel tried to keep the spill a secret, requesting “confidential […]

Honda recalls 900,000 Odyssey minivans after dozens of reported injuries

Honda recalls 900,000 Odyssey minivans after dozens of reported injuries

Honda is recalling 900,000 Odyssey minivans after receiving 46 reports of injuries related to a problem that causes second-row seats to fall forward. The company announced the recall, which includes models from 2011 to 2017, on Saturday. 800,000 of the affected minivans were sold in the U.S. Honda is offering instructions on its website on how to correctly latch the seats to correct the safety issue. Click here for instructions on what to do if you own one of these […]

Comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s