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LA City Attorney Mike Feuer Warns Against Falling For Santa Letter, Gift Exchange Scams

With the holiday season upon us, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer has issued a warning that people feeling generous should beware of two holiday scams that have emerged.

By CBS Los Angeles , in Los Angeles , at November 27, 2020

original article published at https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2020/11/27/la-city-attorney-warning-santa-letter-gift-exchange-scams/

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — With the holiday season upon us, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer has issued a warning that people feeling generous should beware of two holiday scams that have emerged.

“In what has been an extremely challenging year, we want people to protect themselves from becoming victims this holiday season,” Feuer said in a statement.

One scam comes in the form of an unsolicited email selling a hand-written letter from Santa for $19.99. Feuer said recipients should not click the link in the email – at best, the consumer is out about $20, but worse, could have shared their credit card information with a scammer.

People were also warned about social media gift exchanges, or a “Secret Santa” exchange. Users are invited via email or social media to participate by sharing their names, addresses and personal information, and the information of a few friends, then send the same invitation out to their contacts to participate in the exchange. In this scam, people are left buying and shipping gifts to people in the hopes of receiving a gift – but Feuer said this exchange is more like a pyramid scheme that depends on recruiting people to keep the exchange afloat.

“Once people stop participating in the gift exchange, the gift supply stops as well and leaves hundreds of disappointed people without their promised gifts,” Feuer said.

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