Plenty of parents around the country are working hard this Christmas to keep the fantasy of jolly old St. Nick alive but, exactly how far are they going?
Some parents are opting to buy a letter online that appears to be written by Santa and addressed directly to their child. Sometimes it’ll have a price as high as $19.99.
“My child is going to get this really neat letter and its going to look like its from Santa clause, It really is a good idea but then–because you are getting an email–from an unsolicited source that you don’t know if you click on it, it could very well take you to a site that’s going to want your credit card information,” said Wayne Willcox, a cyber expert at Georgia Southern University.
“They are all going to want your personal information and you’re going to end up with nothing in return,” said Willcox. The best case scenario is you’re out of $19.99 but in the worse case scenario you shared your credit card information with a scammer.
This scam can also present as a site promising a free letter from Santa. It doesn’t request any credit card information, but it does require plenty of personal information, such as your full name, address and phone number. Theses sites can then turn around and sell your personal information to spammers.
Companies like USPS offer a safer alternative and all you have to do is write the letter and they will ship it to an address in Anchorage, Alaska so Santa can read it and reply before Christmas. For more information on this service click here.