So what's up with this Secret Sister Gift Exchange program that's going around Facebook and social media recently?

It sounds like fun and it could be interesting...but it's nothing more than a scam. According to Snopes, the idea is a hustler's dream and nowhere near legitimate!

One "Secret Sister" gift exchange group on Facebook says "you send out a gift that is decided and voted on, and in return will receive a gift from a stranger or maybe even a close friend --but you won't know it until you receive it."

If you're already suspicious, you're thinking the same thing I am.

A second "Secret Sister" group on Facebook boasts 141 members, but gives very little information out about what the private closed group is all about. Against common sense, I clicked "join group"...then I chickened out and canceled my request.

Anytime an unknown person requests private information from me, Like home address, etc. I tent to smell a rat.

If you see one of these requests pop up on your page, my advice is to ignore it. If it happens to pop up on your friend's page, let them know what you're learning here.

Even the US Postal System warns that it's phony. And the scam is technically a chain letter, which is a violation of a federal law. Snopes reports that chain letters are considered a form of gambling and are illegal if "they request money or other items of value and promise a substantial return to the participants."

My advice? Stick to the Secret Santa office pool at work. Then tell your real sisters you love them. Don't get confused and drawn into this latest predatory scheme.

[source: SnopesUS Postal System]