Scams That Target Teens: The Information That Every Parent Needs
Just when it seems that scammers cannot be more harmful, they come up with new and elaborate scams. These days, no one is safe from fraudsters that have evolved to scam any person they can, including teens. Scammers target teens as they are inexperienced and naïve, making it easier to con teens into giving out money or personal information to complete strangers. Your child could also be targeted for teen scams, and you must know the most common scams targeting teens to protect yourself and your family.
Contests are a long-time tradition in the US, allowing kids and teens to showcase their talents and win a prize. That is exactly why contests have become one of the most common scams targeting teens who think they can win prizes or cash when presented with the opportunity. Contest scams aim to get out fee money from "competitors" who end up discovering there is no contest whatsoever. To enter the supposed contest, the teen must send money to guarantee their spot in the competition, scamming them out of money and personal details.
Luxury goods at a discount
Having the "it" brands these days causes teens to feel pressure to purchase luxury brands that they cannot afford. Many fraudsters aim at these desires and they offer "luxury" brands at a fraction of their original cost. Such offers exist both online and offline, getting teens to pay for products that simply do not exist. In some cases, the luxury products will be a cheap imitation of the original causing teens to lose money, and in other cases, the products simply do not exist. Unfortunately, teens feel embraced after they are duped, and they do not tell their parents what has happened. (more on this to come).
Scholarships and grants
There are many teens who are uncertain about their higher education, as they do not have the financial means to pay for a college degree. These teens are often subject to scholarship and grant scams that aim to take money in exchange for scholarship information while other scams target to steal personal information from teens or college students.
The third scam of this variety aims at students who have taken on a loan that put them in debt. Scammers will tell the student that they can eliminate the debt for a small fee, causing students to pay for a service that they will never receive.
Money transfers and false investments
There is a variety of money transfer and false investment scams that promise a substantial payout for a small investment. Such scams often begin with an email that provides information about the scam, which is seemingly legitimate in the beginning. However, when digging into the email, adults can easily realize that their child has been targeted for a pyramid scheme or a Ponzi scheme that will not only not help them make money, but make them lose money.
Cell phone scams
It is no secret that teens spend a great deal of time on their phones, often personalizing their wallpapers, ringtones, and other features. There are certain people and companies that take advantage of these love for gadgetry by offering teens a "free" feature that they can easily download. However, such features often cost a great deal of money, and they come with unclear terms that make teens think that they are free while charging their parents for download and usage fees.
Like many other scams that target teens, auction scams also rely on teens' innocence and their wish to make money on their own or find bargains. Online auctions scams make teens believe that they won a bid in an auction, pending a payment. The teen then pays for a product that was never available, leaving the fraudsters with money and credit card information in hand. Another online auction scam is when teens are the ones who place a product for sale in exchange for money or another product. The "auction house rep" will then ask the teen to send the product in advance without receiving payment or an alternative product.
Teens are prime targets for online scams as fraudsters take advantage of their innocence and lack of experience to con them out of money or personal information. As parents, you have the opportunity to stop your children from falling victim to scams that target teens, and HERE is where you can find out how to protect your children and your family from fraud.