A Gaston County mother is issuing a warning for other parents after she said her daughter got inappropriate messages on an app that allows children to message and call Santa.
Ashley Adams said her 8-year-old daughter downloaded the app, “Santa Call & Text You” on Thursday. Despite doing so during the Summer, Adams said her daughter “loves making Christmas lists, every week. She loves the idea of Santa Claus, Christmas and the joy it brings.”
That love turned into fear after the message.
“It started out with her saying ‘hey’, and with a heart,” said Adams. “It automatically went to Santa asking, ‘what are you wearing?'”
It didn’t end there.
The 8-year-old’s father got the phone and started corresponding within the app. Ultimately the conversation ended with the ‘Santa’ on the other end asking, “How old are you?”
When they responded, the message received from the app was, “You’re too old for me.”
The app is rated 4.4 stars on the Apple App Store, but reviews FOX46 came across indicate that Adams isn’t alone in having to deal with the messages. Reviews have called the app “creepy” and the messages received in the app, “inappropriate”.
The app developer, Nguyen Thao, has a number of other apps available within the Apple App Store, in categories ranging from games to the Bible.
Reviewers also noted the app uses what’s called a “bot” to make automated responses, but Adams said, considering the messages received, someone human could be responding on the other end.
“Some of the parts made me believe it was a computer, and some other parts didn’t make sense,” said Adams.
Adams said she is having to explain to her daughter that whoever is behind the messages doesn’t have holiday spirit, and is a lesson for both her and her daughter.
“I feel like my daughter was violated because she didn’t understand why Santa wanted to know what she was wearing,” said Adams. “That’s not a thing Santa would ask.”
Adams said she did reach out and filed a report with authorities in Gaston County over the incident.