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Christmas 2017 News: Authorities Warn Public Against Secret Sister Gift Exchange

Christmas 2017 News: Authorities Warn Public Against Secret Sister Gift Exchange

A lioness opens up Christmas presents in Hagenbeck's zoo in Hamburg, Germany Dec. 23, 2016. | REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

Authorities have warned people not to fall for the Secret Sister Gift Exchange posts circulating on social media as it is not only a spam but illegal, too.

While Christmastime is considered the most wonderful time of the year, it may also be the best season for scammers to dupe unsuspecting individuals. Hence, people on social media, especially the women, are warned to be cautious about who they deal with in the virtual world as posts about Secret Sisters Gift Exchange are being shared again.

"Ladies...Anyone interest in a holiday gift exchange? It does matter where you live; you are welcome to join. I need at least six ladies to participate in a SECRET SISTER gift exchange. You only have to buy ONE gift valued at at least $10 or more and send it to ONE secret sister, and you will receive 6-36 in return!" goes the post that entices people on Facebook to take part in the activity.

According to reports, while many people have expressed excitement and willingness to join, some have revealed that they have taken part in Secret Sister Gift Exchange in the past but did not receive a single gift. However, not receiving a gift after sending one is not the only danger that comes with joining in this supposed Christmas practice.For the authorities, the greatest risk that comes with Secret Sister Gift Exchange is that one's information can be exposed to strangers once they sign up.

"You have no idea who you're giving that information to, so ultimately what you're setting yourself up for is identity theft. Sending your private information to somewhere where you have no idea where it's going to go is very foolish," Danville, Pennsylvania Police Chief Eric Gill warned last year. "

The Better Business Bureau maintains that the Secret Sister Gift Exchange is a digital chain letter. As the US Postal Inspector says that chain letters are a form of gambling, and becomes illegal if they request for money or other valuable items in return from the participants, then, Secret Sister Gift Exchange is an illegal spam that people have to stay away from.