It’s not just adults that are targeted by scammers, teenagers can fall victim too.
We’ve put together five common scams targeted at teenagers, and how they can be avoided.
1. Social media is perfect for internet-based scams that target teenagers. The most common scams on social media involve identity theft. Scammers use surveys or contests that require personal information. Another popular scam on social media targeting teens is cat fishing where the scammer befriends the victim to take money or personal information.
2. If an offer sounds too good to be true it often applies to online shopping too. Online bargain basement-priced goods either never arrive or are knock-offs of the true brand.
3. Identity theft is one of the more prevalent scams online through not just social media but also websites, email, messaging apps, and pop-up windows. Any online interaction that asks for personal information could be identity theft in operation. This might include fake employment opportunities, fake applications for credit cards, scholarships and grants, and so-called freebies.
4. Scammers will name their fake companies so that they appear to be affiliated with the government. It’s important to point out that real student loan forgiveness, applicable to federal student loans only, involves no fees. Scammers will promise forgiveness or consolidation loans that also appear to be government related. The scam is the fee associated with this act of consolidation. Legitimate loan consolidation does not require a fee.
5. Scammers will also target teens with unsolicited scholarships and grant offers. The goal is identity theft or to take a fee for so-called proprietary information about scholarships or ‘free’ money the public isn’t aware of. A money-back guarantee may even be offered if you don’t receive the scholarship.
You can help your teen avoid such scams by:
-Installing malware and antivirus software
-Creating a unique password for every website visited
-Don’t click on links from anyone you don’t know whether by email, text, or messenger.
-Unsolicited messages, emails, and texts should be treated with caution.
-Don’t give out your personal information to anyone online, on the phone, through text, email, or messenger.
-Never pay to apply for a scholarship, grant, or job.
For information about student loans visit one of branches in New Berlin, Springfield, Modesto, or Palmyra.