According to the state of scams 2021, scams targeting teens and young adults are on the rise. It has been theorized that this is because younger generations are more willing to give their personal information more than older, more skeptical internet users. Here are the 5 most common types of scams targeting young people in 2021.
Here are 5 Common Scams Targeting Teens and Young Adults in 2021:
- Job Scams: The pandemic made it difficult for young people to find work. Scammers capitalized on this by dangling fake jobs that can be done remotely with high pay. They post on job sites and then request advanced payment for training. They ask for personal information during the “application process” and use it to drain your bank and commit identity theft.
How to Avoid: Be wary of any job that seems too good to be true or asks you for payment prior to beginning. Never provide information or bank accounts until you’ve investigated the company thoroughly.
- Instagram Influencer Scam: Teens and young adults worship their favorite influencers. Scammers will create fake accounts that look just like the actual influencers’ accounts. They host a fake brand-sponsored contest and ask the “winner” to pay a fee or provide their bank account to win the prize.
How to Avoid: Never send money or bank information to anyone you do not know.
- Romance Scams: Also known as Catfishing, this is when scammers steal photos of good-looking people and target young, vulnerable people online. They make the victim fall in love and begin asking for money.
How to Avoid: Never give money to anyone you meet online. If they will not video chat or meet, they are a scammer.
- Sextortion Scams: The advent of smartphones led to sexting which has now led to sextortion. Scammers pose as attractive people on OnlyFans or Snapchat, hook the target, and move the conversation over to text. They send an explicit image and ask for one in return. Once received, they reveal themselves to be scammers and threaten to send the photo to all contacts in the person’s phone and post the picture on the Internet.
How to Avoid: Avoid sending explicit images online or by phone. If the person you are falling for will not meet or video chat thinks twice before sending anything.
- Online Shopping: Fake websites have been created that looks like an online store selling items at a huge discount. If you buy, the item never arrives, they pocket the money and steal your credit card and personal information for future online theft.
How to Avoid: Make sure the website is not full of typos. If the “customer service” email is “gmail.com” or “yahoo.com” that is a red flag. Research the company.
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