RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Secret Santa gift exchange is shared on social media every year, but it's illegal and is considered a form of gambling.
It typically starts with a post on Facebook or another social media platform.
Every year there is a different twist, where people are asked to send their favorite bottle of wine, book, or just a small gift to just one person on the list, and then they will receive several gifts in return. While it may seem harmless and some people may say it works, it is known as a pyramid scheme, which is illegal.
Fake holiday events are also being shared. The "event's" organizers advertise on social media, take your money, but then there is never an event.
Alyssa Parker with the Better Business Bureau of Eastern North Carolina said, "Make sure you research any organization putting on the event, see if there have been previous events, and it's always great to see if there is a track record."
The BBB also suggested you search online for the name of the festival and make sure the name advertised matches the website; and make sure the festival website has a real phone number and email address. Parker also said there is no way a festival can offer tickets at extremely low prices without losing money. If prices are much lower than elsewhere, it's likely a scam.
While scrolling through social media, also be wary of what appear to be harmless holiday surveys. Parker said they could lead to trouble. "Copy and paste surveys where you have to fill out personal information. That's just a big red flag because a lot of the questions they ask can be what get someone into your credit card online portal, your banking portal," said Parker.
The BBB offers these tips to avoid falling victim to social media scams this holiday: