Invitations to illegal Secret Santa circulating on social media

El Paso News
secret sister_1542292504738.JPG.jpg

With the holidays just around the corner many will get into the holiday spirit by doing gift exchanges but beware. One gift exchange that goes by the name “Secret Sister” is illegal.

The Better Business Bureau said it’s a pyramid scheme.

The invitations are most common on Facebook. They claim participants will receive up to 36 gifts in exchange for mailing out just one gift.

Users are asked to invite others to participate and provide personal information like a home address.

“Secret Sister” and similar pyramid schemes became popular in 2015 and started circulating on social media again in the last few days.

“It’s just saying hey this is a fun holiday idea. Let’s all get in the spirit. You send one gift and get all these others in return. But remember not only is it not likely that’ll you’ll get anything in return but it’s actually illegal,” says Marybeth Stevens, the El Paso Better Business Bureau president.

The U.S. Postal Service says these type of gift exchanges are considered illegal gambling and mail fraud.

If you receive a “Secret Sister” invitation, the BBB recommends you report it.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.