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Is the Secret Sister Gift Exchange really worth it? | 12 Scams of Christmas

The Secret Sister Gift Exchange made the list of the "12 Scams of Christmas."

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — It's the time of year to see all your friends post their family holiday photos on Facebook, maybe even a picture of the tree, oh, and the secret sister exchange! 

On day 2 of our 12 scams of Christmas, we look into why you should keep the gift-giving to only people you actually know.

In theory, it's a nice idea, buy 1 gift and get 6 to 36 in return!

But you know the saying, if it's too good to be true, it probably is. 

That's why social media gift exchanges made the Better Business Bureau's 12 scams of Christmas. 

"You end up putting your name on a list, sharing your email, your address potentially with the hopes of getting a gift in return. When you give that information over you're not really sure if that information is going to someone else you don't know who is also part of this list," said Kelsey Coleman, the Director of Communications at the Better Business Bureau for Metro Philly and Eastern Pennsylvania. 

If you say that to someone who wants to take part, they'll call you a grinch.

Coleman said, "I know it can seem harmless especially when we think we're just doing it with friends and family but we don't know exactly what all our friends are doing with that information."

The only Grinch here is the fact that this sort of exchange is technically a pyramid scheme.

The U.S. Postal Inspection services consider this a form of gambling and those participants could be subject to penalties such as jail time, fines, or a lawsuit for mail fraud.

It's also possible that your mom's cousin's, sister's, friends participated in one of these and actually got gifts in return, but is getting one of those cheap stress balls or ankle socks worth leaving your information with someone you don't know? Probably not. 

If you have a story you want Jackie to look into, FOX43 wants to find out. Send her a message on Facebook or send an email to FOX43FindsOut@FOX43.com. 

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