LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – People should be on alert for scammers running fake gift exchanges on social media during the holiday season.

Every holiday season, the Better Business Bureau issues a warning for one particular scam which pops up on Facebook known as the “Secret Sister Gift Exchange,” but is in fact a pyramid scheme.

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The scam claims that you will buy a gift for one “secret sister,” and then receive anywhere from six to 36 in return.

“You can just ship directly from Amazon! So easy!” the text of the scam claims.


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How do the scammers get you? By obtaining your personal information, the BBB says.

The scam has been floating around Facebook and Reddit since October of 2015, according to Snopes.

“Purchasing one gift and receiving several in return may sound like a harmless way to give and receive presents, but this seasonal scam is a pyramid scheme, which is illegal,” the Better Business Bureau writes.

The BBB advises that you altogether ignore any kind of snail mail or social media gift exchange.

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Here are 11 more holiday scams you shouldn’t fall prey to.