Sunday, February 11, 2007

Protecting Our Teens from Online Scams

My son (age 16) received a letter from BMG Music Services for a CD they had sent him in the mail earlier this school year. Apparently he had been online surfing the web while he was at a family members house. BMG's offer looks great and so he proceeded to choose a CD for them to send him. I am not sure if he fully read the About Membership section where it points out that you must choose 1 CD and pay for it before getting the remaining 11 FREE CD's. He is not employed and so I am not sure how he figured he was going to pay for it. We're going to have a chat about the issues he forgot to think through on this one. In the meantime these questions raced through my mind.

Did he read the offer on the front page? "12 CDs for the price 1 nothing more to buy ever!
Did he read the entire section in "About Membership" regarding the offer?
If he knew he would have to pay for this item, how did he think he was going to fund his purchase?
What can we do to protect our teens from companies like this one in the future?

While visiting the site to find a place to send a request for canceling his "account" and request they stop sending "Collection Notices" I read the "About Membership" section and I realized there were no requirements or restrictions for age limitations for memberships or purchases.

Hopefully after our discussion he'll think more carefully about this type of adventure. I think someone :::cough::: will be paying for this one with extra chores. I think talking to both my teens about the things to consider with online purchases would be a good idea. It's probably a good idea to cover mail order scams too :)

For an update on BMG Music's response click here. :)


sealteam69 said...

Glad you have a handle on issues that affect our young folks - keep up the good works

goldengoddess said...

Thanks sealteam69, it's not always easy, but I'm learning as I go. One might think that after raising two teens before these two that I still have at home, I would have faced some of these types of situations before. But with each one having their own personality, so are their adventures in life. We just have to respond to them together :)