With the holidays quickly approaching, so is a familiar scam. Police forces around the country are warning people to look out for the "secret sister gift exchange" currently making the rounds on Facebook.

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The promise? You buy one $10 gift for someone and add your name to a list, you'll then get between six and 36 gifts in the mail. 

But there are no gifts, authorities warn that it's purely an attempt to get your personal information. 

"You have no idea who you're giving that information to, so ultimately what you're setting yourself up for is identity theft," said Danville Police Chief Eric Gill.

"Sending your private information to somewhere where you have no idea where it's going to go is very foolish."


Caitlin Coller of Danville, Pennsylvania, was one of those to fall victim to the scam.

"At first when I read it, I thought it was pretty cool," Coller told WTKR. "The girl who tagged me in it is pretty reliable and is really nice, so it seemed like something she came up with. It seemed like this original thing."

Police in Tennessee also warned followers of their Facebook page:

"Don’t fall for the post popping up on your news feed about a secret sister gift exchange – it’s a scam and illegal. This scam circulated Facebook heavily last year and is making the rounds again this holiday season."

"The message wants you to buy a gift of $10 or more, add your name to a list, and then you will receive 36 gifts. Sound too good to be true? You’re right…it is."

"The gift exchange is a modern version of the chain letter scheme and is illegal. Chain letters are essentially forms of gambling and sending it through the mail violates Title 18, United States Code, Section 1302, the Postal Lottery Statute."