"Secret Sister" Holiday Scam

Beware The "Secret Sister" Gift Exchange!

Well it's the holiday season so the "Secret Sister" gift exchange is circulating online again. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) calls it an illegal pyramid scheme in holiday wrapping.

Secret Sister starts with an invite, either via e-mail or social media, promising you up to 36 gifts on your doorstep in exchange for sending one worth at least $10. All you have to do is give your name, address, and personal information of a few additional friends. It will then be added to an existing gift exchange list made up of people you may not know. Then, it's your turn to send an invite asking your friends and family to join. The process continues and you've left buying and shipping gifts for people in hopes the favor is returned when you receive dozens of gifts in the mail. But that rarely works out. Once people stop participating in this gift exchange, the gift supply stops as well, leaving potentially hundreds disappointed when they're left empty-handed.

Best advice from the BBB - if someone promises you a pile of gifts or cash by mail, email or social media report it to the U.S. Postal Inspection Services.

Thousands of people fall for these scams every year.