51ºF

Don't fall for 'Secret Sister' gift scam

Social Media gift exchange considered to be a pyramid scheme

MIAMI – A social media sensation lives up to the adage that if something appears too good to be true, it probably is.

It's called the Secret Sister gift exchange, but experts are calling it an old-fashioned pyramid scheme.

The so-called exchange starts with a Facebook post in the form of an invitation that invites you to give a gift valued at $10 to one person, and then ultimately receive 36 gifts in return.

The follower needs to also add their name to a list of others taking part in the exchange.

Unfortunately, as the rumor-squashing website Snopes.com points out, it's really just the modern reincarnation of a chain letter.

While some who participate get lucky and join a legitimate exchange, many others have been disappointed.

And as WFLA in Tampa points out, the biggest problem with this particular scam is that it's illegal. The law states that chain letters are a form of gambling and using the mail system to deliver the gifts would violate a U.S. Postal Service code.

So make sure you double and triple check what you're taking part in, or else you'll play into another old adage that says there's a sucker born every minute.