It's that time of year again where my social media feed is flooded with posts about Secret Sister Gift Exchanges.

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The posts usually call readers to send a $10 gift to someone for the holidays, with the promise of getting multiple gifts in return. You know what they say - if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is! This CNN article explains that this seemingly innocent activity is actually considered a pyramid scheme. Check out this quote from the article that explains why:

Like any pyramid scheme, this one thrives on continued recruitment -- the bigger the pool of participants, the longer it'll keep running. But once users stop joining, the gifts stop flowing and all the gift givers waiting on their presents are left disappointed.

Yikes! I don't think any gift is worth breaking the law! The article also smartly mentions that it's not a good idea to give strangers on the internet your personal info. I don't mean to be a Grinch, but the next time you see someone post about a Secret Sister Gift Exchange, you should warn them to take it down.

Just because these forms of gift exchanges are illegal, doesn't mean you can't find other ways to spread holiday cheer! If you still want to exchange gifts with friends, how about organizing a Secret Santa between a small group of friends where you buy gifts for one another and exchange them in person (socially distanced, of course) - that way everyone is assigned a gift, no strangers are involved, and you're not using the US Mail system in an illegal way.

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