12 On Your Side: BBB warns of scammers running 'Dear Santa' websites

By: Elizabeth Owens Email
By: Elizabeth Owens Email

AUGUSTA, S.C. -- Children are turning on their laptops instead of turning into the post office to get in touch with Santa these days.
Although Santa's elves are tech savvy, there are some Grinches behind "Dear Santa" websites.

The Better Business Bureau is warning parents that scammers are behind some of these websites. Not only will these Grinches steal your Christmas joy, but also your personal information.

Seven-year-old Jessica Tice emailed Santa her Christmas list this week.

"A dog and doll and a Barbie," she asked.

Kim Tice says her daughter loves to email Santa, but she always supervises.

"When it comes to the computer, we keep a very close eye on our children," Tice said.

The BBB says parents should stay close to the laptop when their children are writing Santa. "Dear Santa" websites should not ask for anything more than a first name and email

There are more than 60 domain names registered to the name Santa Claus. Parents should check out the privacy policy section of each site. The policy should contain the name of the company behind the website and the company contact information. It is a good way to check the validity of a website.

Here are a few tips from the BBB:
-Check and see what they want you to hand over. Websites for children shouldn't ask for anything but a name and email address.
-Limit personal information children share with Santa and omit physical address.
-Check websites for unwelcome content. Some websites are geared toward adults and may contain offensive language.
-Check links. Make sure hyperlinks don't direct children to inappropriate content.

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