Letters from Santa can lead to stolen credit card info, authorities warn

Be careful giving 'Santa' your personal data, officials warn

Authorities and consumer protection groups are warning parents that a letter from Santa Claus to their kids may come at an unexpected cost – stolen credit card numbers.

Parents can pay to have a handwritten letter from Santa sent to their kids in time for Christmas. While many companies are legit, some scammers are preying on the unsuspecting, according to the Better Business Bureau.

Police have also tweeted out the warning. 

One such scam offers a letter from Santa with all the bells and whistles for $19.99, with free shipping if the order is confirmed with a credit card immediately, according to the BBB. That is a red flag.

The offer is made to seem urgent so the victim has little time to investigate, according to the BBB. Then, faster than the Grinch stole Christmas, private financial information is exposed. 

Other sites offer a free letter but require information such as name, address and phone number, which they then sell to spammers, according to the BBB.

Signs of a scam include urgency for the order to be placed, poor grammar and spelling, and lack of any real contact information for the company.

For more information, visit BBB.org.  

Follow Ryan Parker for breaking news at @theryanparker and on Facebook

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