“Secret Sister” holiday scheme makes the rounds on Facebook

“Secret Sister” holiday scheme makes the rounds on Facebook

WICHITA FALLS, TX (RNN Texoma) - The Secret Sister pyramid scheme is back and it is making the rounds on social media this holiday season.

The Secret Sister Scheme invites friends to participate in a gift exchange.

Once the person agrees to participate they are sent information on where to mail a $10 gift with promises that you will then 36 gifts in return.

The post is written in a way that comes off as a well-meaning gesture aimed at bringing joy to strangers for Christmas, and Texomans are being roped in too.

Employees at the Wichita Falls BBB say they have even seen it themselves on their own personal Facebook feeds.

What those who have shared the post may not know, is that gift exchanges are considered by the U.S. Postal Service to be illegal gambling, and people could be charged with mail fraud.

President of the Wichita Falls BBB Monica Horton said, “Any form of chain letter or pyramid scheme – anything like that is illegal whether it’s perpetrated through the mail, online, however.”

Horton said those who participate might be asked to give up personal information, such as their home address, to people they do not know.

She adds this most recent scheme has been popping up since 2015 and always comes back just in time for the holidays.

So what do you do if the enticing post finds you?

Those with the BBB say first do not take part by sharing or responding, and then make sure to report it on their Scam Tracker webpage.

Horton said, “Right now we don’t have any reports of victims of the Secret Sister, but it may be too soon for them to know that they’re not going to get the 36 gifts in exchange for their $10.”

Copyright 2018 RNN Texoma. All rights reserved.