Internet Scams: What You and Your Child Should Look Out For
Internet scams have been on the rise in recent years. These scams come in many shapes and sizes which makes falling for them very easy. They usually sound quite convincing and they can mimic an actual item or company to perfection. Scams are tailor-made to appeal to a certain audience based on variables such as age, gender or location. As a parent, thinking that your child could become a victim of these scams can be stressful. Your kids might end up having yours or their personal information, personal details, identity and other things stolen from an online scam. It is therefore important for you and your children to know what to look out for in order to spot a scam.
1. Do not open emails, text messages or pop-ups from unknown sources
These emails, texts or pop-ups normally have catchy titles that create the urge to read more. Do not fall for that trap. If you insist on opening them, it is advisable that you confirm the contact details from an independent source such as a phone book. If there are links in the message, do not click on them.
2. A deal that is too good to be true
There are uncountable online stores on the Internet. The sad news is that a good number of these online stores are scams. The suspicious thing about them is that they sell very high quality items for a very small price. Others offer large discounts or claim that it is a clearance sale. For instance, a website might be selling designer clothes at a fraction of the actual price. Once you buy these items, you get something totally different or a low quality imposter item. Beware of these Internet scams and tell your children to minimize their online purchases and only buy things after making informed decisions.
3. Student scholarship scams
Getting a scholarship is a great opportunity for children to study especially if there are financial constraints back home. It is therefore important for parents to look out for scholarship scams. These scams appear genuine but they end up stealing aspiring students’ details and their identity. These details are then used to perform malicious activities. When applying for scholarships, both children and parents should stick to applying through known official channels. They should check with school counselors and do a search to confirm whether the scholarship exists. You can even call the institution, foundation or company that is said to offer the scholarship to confirm that the scholarship exists.
4. Expensive club memberships
Kids enjoy being part of a group. Whether it is a sports club or a band, the need to belong is a strong part of their nature. This is what these scams take advantage of. They offer great club activities and look cool in the eyes of children. Even parents can easily fall for this trap. Once they entice the target, they inform them that one has to pay a certain amount of money for the registration fee. This fee is normally outrageously high. As a parent, you should never have to pay any amount of money for your children to join online clubs. It is better to stick to the clubs in your locality or your child’s school. Real life clubs offer more meaningful experiences.
5. High paying jobs with paid training
Many teens and those new to the job market are easily misled with promises of great money for simple tasks. The scam is usually a job offer for some of the dream jobs most people have in mind. The job comes with a huge monthly salary and multiple benefits. However, they always have a training period prior to acquiring the job which you have to pay for. Others ask for other fees such as a registration fee or an insurance fee. Never fall for this scam. No employer asks for payment in order to hire someone. Whenever you see this kind of thing, avoid it and alert others about it.
6. Stay away from free music downloads
Kids love music. That is why online scam artists target music lovers by offering free music downloads. However, this offer normally lasts for a couple of days after which they ask for payment. If the child had entered their credit card details or their parent’s credit card details, the download fees are automatically charged to the respective bank accounts. The best thing is to stick to reputable sites such as iTunes or better yet, buy CD’s just to be on the safe side.