The Grinch's Gift Exchange

Santa’s arrival is just a few weeks away. Many people are hoping their tree ends up surrounded by gifts from what seems a harmless gift exchange, but be cautious. This gift exchange may do nothing more than empty your wallet and fill up your inbox with spam.


ThinkstockPhotos 76946610Many of us have seen the social media posts about a gift exchange that promises you'll get between 6 and 36 gifts if you participate. Seems simple enough . . . send a gift to the name at the top, move up the name underneath, then add your name and invite friends to participate.

Don't fall for it—it's just the latest holiday scam!

It looks like harmless fun: Friends and family members asking you on social media sites to join them for a "secret sister gift exchange." However, sites such as Snopes.com are reporting this is just another chain letter, and a dangerous one too because it can easily lead to identity theft issues. Your name and contact information may be sold to other people. This can lead to your inbox being flooded with solicitations for other kinds of scams.

On top of that, chain letters such as this are technically illegal as well. If a letter requests money or other items of value and promises a substantial return, it is considered a form of gambling.

Best to stick to the good old-fashioned gift exchanges, where you buy one gift and get one gift.

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