When Halloween draws to a close, the winter holidays begin in full swing. But don’t let this social media scam dampen your spirits. In this pyramid scam, another user posts a status update about joining in a Secret Holiday gift exchange which promises that if you send one gift to a recipient, you will receive upwards of 30 gifts in return. However, these sorts of chain “gift exchanges” are considered to be a form of illegal gambling by the government. Not only may you not receive any gifts, but you also may end up in legal trouble with the government. If you want the thrill of getting unknown gifts, plan a White Elephant or Yankee swap gift exchange with your friends and family, without the threat of legal retaliation.


Be a fraud fighter!  If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.


Report scams to local law enforcement. Contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork for more information on fraud prevention.