Could your tween or teen be the victim of an online scam?

Posted by on Dec 7, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments


Could your tween or teen be the

victim of an online scam?


Could your tween or teen be the victim of an online scam?  More and more criminals are targeting kids.  They prey on kids using really sad stories, offering free stuff, that proverbial  pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.  Many kids especially girls love the latest trendy fashion and may be fooled into purchasing knockoff goods like a Gucci or Chanel bag online but are actually being scammed.  Or maybe they’re thinking about a scholarship for college. Unfortunately, there are fake scholarship websites targeting kids to scam them. Free ring tones, free games…anything that sounds too good to be true probably is and that’s when to BEWARE!

My inbox is filled with online scams these days. I’m quickly able to discern that the email is a scam. The question is can your tween or teen recognize a scam when they see it?  Here is an example of an email scam. The goal of a scammer is for the victim to open the attachment. The attachment could potentially put malware, spyware, identity stealing, viruses… potentially anything.



identity theft












Phishing: Email/Texting scams:

Phishing is when scam criminals send fake texts, emails, or pop-up messages and trick people into to sharing their personal and financial information. They then use this information to commit identity theft. This is done by including links or attachments in the email or text. When clicked on, the user is taken to a website that looks authentic like a bank but in reality is fake and is used instead to either install malware on the computer device or for identity theft.
A report by Verizon into data breach investigations has shown that 23% of people open phishing emails and 11% open attachments.

Here is an example of a phishing scam:

email scam






So how can your teen avoid such scams?

You the parent need to teach them:

Email/Text attachments:
  • Help your tween or teen understand that messages on the internet aren’t always what they seem.
  • Never open an attachment or download files in an email without parental permission.
  • Make sure that you know who the attachment or link is from.
  • Check the email address bar to make sure it’s from who it says it’s from, see following example: notice the address is not the same as the sender.


phishing email














  • Don’t reply to text, email, or pop-up messages that ask for personal or financial information, and don’t follow any links in the message.
  • Beware of offers of free stuff, prize winner email/text, sweepstakes offers, anything that sounds too good to be true. Remember there is no free lunch.  Online if you go for the free lunch your likely to get a rotten scam sandwich with malware, spyware or identity theft as the main ingredient.


Other tips:

Your tween or teen may not be aware that spy ware has been placed on your computer device.

  • Make sure your computer virus protection is up to date.
  • Tape over the camera on computer when not in use with someone you know so that your picture can’t be taken and used by a criminal.


Oh and how can you tell if a scholarship is fake:

Scholarships that are most likely a scam:
1. One 100 characters or less for your ‘essay’
2. Commonly use the term ‘sweepstakes’, ‘drawing’, or ‘random selection’
3. Have zero requirements aside from entering your basic information
4. Ask for your social security number (FAFSA [a government site] is the only legitimate site that should ask for this)
5. Are rewarded weekly or monthly”


Talk to your tween or teen and help prevent the heartbreak and agony of identity theft, malware, spyware  or worse.

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