The holiday shopping season has begun, but unfortunately, so have the scams. This season, the fraudsters are also targeting kids and their personal information.
According to Jeremy Gin, co-founder of SiteJabber.com, a consumer protection service that helps people avoid fraudulant sites, fraudsters lure tweens and teens onto websites by promising them free items, like video gaming systems and other popular electronics, in exchange for playing games, watching videos and filling out surveys.
While these websites are around all year long, kids tend to be more attracted to them during the holiday season because kids are on the computer searching for items they want as gifts for the holidays. While kids are searching legitimate sites, the illegitimate ones pop up too.
Some of these websites will promise free gaming systems, like XBOX 360, and other items, like IPODs, that are almost too tempting to pass up.
What happens if your child does start giving out his name, email address and other personal information? His data is then sold to marketers and in a worst case scenario it could be used for identity theft. Parents also need to worry about "cookies" and malware when kids go onto these sites.
As for the prizes, chances are your children will never receive them. These sites require users to fill out endless surveys and watch countless videos, which force most people to give up after a couple of weeks. According to Gin, even if your child sees the process through, the scam artists make it so difficult to redeem the prizes that nearly no one ever wins. In the rare case your child actually does win an Xbox, chances are he will be told that the gaming system is currently out-of-stock.
Teach your children to avoid these sites and NEVER give out personal information. To find out if a website is legitimate or not, log on to SiteJabber.com.
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