SALT LAKE CITY — Francine A. Giani, executive director of the Utah Department of Commerce, is warning consumers of an online gifting scam.
The Blessing Loom program promises participants who pay $100 to a PayPal account and recruit two friends to the program will reap profits up to $800 each in return.
Facebook has been the predominant source for the hoax, but Utahns are warned to be on the alert for pitches over other social media, email and texts. The scheme has also been promoted with such names as Blessing Loom, Christmas Loom, Christmas Pay It Forward Loom, Christmas Wheel and Christmas Blessing Loom.
“While extra holiday cash may sound appealing, these gifting pyramids will fleece the wallets of you and your Facebook friends. Don’t fall for the social media gift trap,” Giani cautioned in a statement.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, reports of this gifting pyramid scam surfaced years ago. The FTC has classified these types of promotions as classic pyramid or Ponzi schemes where new customers’ money is used to profit older customers.
“We are especially concerned that young people who place high value on information relayed on social media will fall prey to this old pitch,” Daniel O’Bannon, director of the Division of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. “Please ignore high-profit offers on social media and ask questions offline before you ever send money to a program or company.”
For more information or to file a consumer complaint with the Utah Division of Consumer Protection log on to consumerprotection.utah.gov.