When we see things about helping others in SWLA, we usually go at it with the best intentions. When it involves booze, we tend to get a little more excited about things. For many years, there have been a few variations of a liquor or wine exchange going around on Facebook. By the way, I love you Drew East.

Essentially you are to message the person that posts the information your name and address and send someone a bottle of liquor or wine. In return, you could potentially receive multiple bottles back as part of this exchange. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, because it pretty much is. What happens when you actually say you want to be in on the exchange? You get a message like this.

Copy my original Facebook post to your wall and tag your friends, send a bottle of bourbon to the #1 person on the list below. Then, just copy this message and your info in #1 and send the ned message to anyone who wants to join from your post. Remember, you only purchase and send one bottle of bourbon. The bottle should cost $45 or more. If you cannot complete this within 1 week please notify me.

You can order directly from a web-based service shop with saves a trip to the post office, hand-deliver it, or Fed Ex it. Soon you should receive up to 36+ bourbon bottles. You should begin receiving bourbon in about 2 weeks if you get your message out to your people.

On the surface, it seems like a genuine way to get something in the mail for a small investment. The issue arises that your information is being sent to people you may not even know as the "chain" increases in this pyramid gift exchange. Now, before we move forward, I am not accusing anyone that has posted this message to be a scammer. I truly believe that it is shared with the greatest intentions at heart. I have quite a few friends that have shared the post and people have commented on it to jump on the train and give it a shot.

The first thing I would draw your attention to when questioning about this scheme is have you really seen any of your friends in the past that do this show off a picture of their 6-36 bottles of liquor as we get closer to Christmas? I can remember a few years back I had some do the "Wine Sister" exchange. I don't recall seeing anyone showing off their plethora of $15 bottles of wine on their counter all excited.

How many of your Facebook friends have been hacked recently? As in, their password has been stolen somehow and the hacker is posing as them to get information from you? Also, how many of your friend's pictures and likenesses have been stolen and sent you a new friend request? That would play right into this scheme. The person posing as that friend would then post this scheme and you'd send your name and address to them wanting to join. They then have your information to do with what they please.

The name at the top of the list is your friend's name. So every person he convinces to "exchange" a bottle will send him a bottle first if they follow the directions. When you go to post your exchange on Facebook, you become a scammer whether you realize it or not. If you take out the fact if they sent a bottle previously or not, it's basically just a random person asking for free booze. So how are you supposed to get the "exchange" going? Well, there isn't an exchange happening at all.

The last little part of this year's scam is the last line in the post.

I used Cask Cartel last year for shipping. They have a good selection and fair prices.

Oh, looky there, a little snuck in advertising at the end. Who is Cask Cartel? They are, but they also have over 60 recent complaints to the Better Business Bureau. It seems that people have ordered products from them to ship, but they never received the items they ordered after 30+ days. They also were not given a refund on the items they no longer wanted. Also, if you Google Cask Cartel, some of the first items that pop up asking if the company is a scam or not. To me as a company, I add in that little line about how my company can do the shipping for your exchange of booze, and then I just don't ship it and blame it on rules and regulations. Seems a touch fishy to me doesn't it?

In closing, if it seems too good to be true it probably is. Exchanging gifts during the holidays is fun for everyone. Going about it with a pyramid scheme such as this is not the way to make friends nor is it smart this day in age to just keep giving out your personal information. Instead, take the money and go treat yourself instead.

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