Targeting Neopets.com users for credit cards

Neopets.com won't tell Beverly Blair Harzog how her daughter's user's name for the site ended up on credit card solicitations.
It was in November 1999 that Neopets.com hit the scene. Kids loved it. I mean, really, really loved it. The computer game allowed them to create and take care of virtual pets in Neopia, a virtual world, and interact with each other on boards. Kids had to register, which involved giving personal information. Like other kids, Ashley, my then-10-year-old daughter, wanted to sign up and participate.

My lectures about not giving personal information on the Internet apparently did have an impact on her. Ashley now says, "I remember at the time thinking I shouldn't give my real name. So I made up a last name."

So although she gave her actual address to somebody connected to the site when she signed up (it's unclear whether it was Neopets or one of its advertisers; it was too long ago to remember), Ashley used the name "Ashley Ainttellnu," as in, I ain't tellin' you my last name. Hey, when you're 10 years old, this approach makes darn good sense. And she did (sort of) listen to her mom. Unfortunately, she used her address--a big no.

Flash forward about 10 years. Ever since Ashley started college in 2009, she's been receiving offers for student credit cards. Last week, Ashley received two credit card offers on the same day. They were both for a Discover student card.

One was addressed to Ashley Harzog and one was addressed to--are you ready?--Ashley Ainttellnu. The card issuer, Discover, knows how old Ashley Ainttellnu is and that she's now in college. What Discover doesn't know is that Ashley Ainttellnu doesn't exist and that she most certainly doesn't need a credit card.

They should make a Neopets branded credit card!

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