Scam alert: Officials warn of Holiday Gift Exchange on Facebook


MIAMI – Instead of a Secret Santa, you'll end up with a Secret Scrooge if you fall for a holiday gift exchange currently making the rounds on social media.

The "Secret Sister Gift Exchange" scam, which is being heavily circulated on Facebook, promises the unlucky victim up to 36 gifts as a reward for participating.

Those who agree to take part in the farce are urged to send a gift to the first "sister" on the list.

If it reminds you of a chain letter, you hit the nail on the head. Chain letters are illegal as they are seen as a form of gambling.

Unfortunately, victims usually see the names of family and friends attached, so believe it's a legitimate program.

WPVI reports identify theft often occurs with scams such as the "Secret Sister Gift Exchange" and warns those who fall for it to be extra careful.

"We see that a lot with different types of fraud where once people have fallen for one kind of scam that their name and contact information gets sold to other people and that they get solicitations for other kinds of scams," Noelle Talley of the North Carolina Attorney General's office explained.

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