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The Better Business Bureau is warning the public of the 'Secret Sister Gift Exchange' scam that is circulating on Facebook during the holidays.


According to the BBB, the scam is alleged to be an illegal pyramid scheme, claiming that participants will receive up to 36 gifts in exchange for sending one gift valued at $10. The scam then encourages social media users to invite others to participate.


According to the BBB, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service's gambling and pyramid scheme laws state that gift chains like these are illegal and participants could be penalized for mail fraud.


The Heather Massey, Regional Director for the Permian Basin's BBB recommends the following to anyone who receives the chain letter by mail, email, or social media:


If you receive a chain letter by mail, email or social media, especially one that involves money or gifts, Better Business Bureau recommends:


-Start With Trust®. Check with BBB before becoming involved in suspicious and possibly illegal activity.

-To avoid this scam, the best thing to do is completely ignore it altogether. Do not give out personal information to anyone.

-Chain letters via social media and U.S. mail that involve money or valuable items and promise big returns are illegal. If you start a chain letter or send one, you are breaking the law.

-Chances are you will receive little or no money back on your “investment.” Despite the claims, a chain letter will never make you rich.

-Some chain letters try to win your confidence by claiming they’re legal and endorsed by the government.

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