Websites that promise to send children letters or emails from Santa Claus may be fun, but the Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises parents to check the sites out carefully to avoid having their child’s privacy invaded or worse.
More than 60 domain names linked to Santa Claus have been registered, according to the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), an affiliate of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. Some sites offer children the opportunity to persuade St. Nick via email that they were good in 2011. Others offer to send children a personalized letter from Santa, with fees of zero to more than $15.
The BBB advises adults to review the sites carefully before allowing children to share any personal information. They should try to determine who is seeking the information, how it will be used and whether it will be shared with third parties.
“Parents need to make sure the sites aren’t seeking to exploit their children,” said Jim Camp, BBB president and CEO. “Some sites may be preying on children’s innocence to obtain private information that can be used in identity theft or other schemes.”
The BBB advises parents to:
Consumers can learn how to protect themselves or find BBB Business Reviews of businesses or charities by calling (800) 892-3584 or by going online to www.bbb.org.