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Russian Watchdog Cautions NYE Parties Against Hiring ‘Bad Santas’

"Bad Santa" / West

Have you checked Santa’s criminal record before letting your child sit on his lap?

Russia’s consumer rights watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, warns that children’s entertainers could take advantage of the festive mood to carry out their most nefarious crimes on New Year’s Eve.

“Using people’s gullibility and lack of vigilance, rogue entertainers can commit theft during festivities,” Rospotrebnadzor writes in a memo published Thursday.

Rospotrebnadzor adds that organizers also risk falling victim to bad-faith actors that seal the deal and leave clients without Santas at showtime.

“There are cases where people turn to the first company they come across, sign a contract, make advance payments, but no one shows up on the appointed day,” the watchdog writes. “The company’s phone isn’t working, the contract forms are forged and the company is fake.”

To avoid spending the New Year filing charges at the police station, Rospotrebnadzor recommends studying the child-entertainer market and hiring highly rated veteran actors — known as animators in Russia.

The Moscow Times was unable to confirm whether Rospotrebnadzor had been watching too much "Home Alone" or "Bad Santa" in the days leading up to its memo.

Those who do plan to spend this holiday season inside the Russian penitentiary system will ring in 2019 eating New Year’s staples and watching holiday movies, Interfax cited a prison service spokesperson as saying.

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