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Protecting Your Kid Against Fraud

Published June 19, 2019 

By Jordan Ottaway 

Every year it seems like there’s a new scam going around, and they’re becoming more sophisticated and harder to spot. Not only does this pose a threat to adults, but to minors and young adults as well. 

If there’s one thing scammers know how to do, it’s adapting to the changing times and technology. So, parents, talk with your kids about how to keep scammers from getting their information and stealing their money. 

This will be very beneficial to them as they grow and go out on their own.

 

Be careful on social media 

Social media is a great place for human connection, but there is a dark side where scammers can use what you post to steal information. Because of this, it’s so important to monitor your kid’s activity on social media to and make sure they are not sharing information that might get them in trouble. 

Sometimes people will impersonate a child on social media, then go and abuse others in that child’s name. 

Another popular social media scam wants you to click a link in a direct message. Someone will message you saying that people are saying bad things about you and that you need to click a link to see what they’re saying. Sadly, some people have fallen for it and had their identity stolen.

 

Never share important financial information 

This is a big one. Talk to your kids and tell them it’s never a good idea to share their online username and password with anyone. It doesn’t matter if it’s someone they think they can trust or not, because you never know where that information can go and who can end up getting their hands on it.

 

Use P2P payment apps carefully 

Person to person (P2P) payment apps like Cash App, Square, Venmo, Zelle, and others are becoming increasingly popular with people of all ages. If you know that your child uses any of these apps to send or receive money, make sure to talk with them and stress the importance of only doing business with people and companies they actually know. 

Selling items online with these apps can be dangerous because you don’t know if the person your selling to has the money to pay for their purchase. It can also go the other way, if they buy something using a P2P app to pay and never receive the item they bought. 

Keep it local, with people and places that you know are trustworthy.

 

Be aware of scams 

It really does seem like there’s a new scam every day, but knowing what to look for and how to recognize a scam is a great tool to teach your child so they can stay informed and a step ahead. 

Tell them about the popular IRS scams circulating and that the IRS will never demand money over the phone. This is in fact the scammers using a scare tactic to get you to panic and pay them money. Then move on to educating them about phishing emails and text messages and remind them it’s not smart to click on links without first seeing if it looks legitimate or not. 

Knowing is half the battle, and having these conversations can help save you and your child a lot of hassle and money.

 

Pay attention to account statements 

Your financial institutions may alert you if there is any unusual activity on your accounts. However, you should take time to review the transactions in your, and your child’s, financial accounts each month to make sure everything looks normal. Don’t take for granted that your financial institutions will catch everything. Look over the activity to make sure all the transactions are yours. Many people have discovered suspicious activity by doing just this and were able to dispute the activity.

 

Conclusion

Scammers are tricky people and love to prey on those who seem extra vulnerable, but taking some time to make sure your child is prepared and knows what to look for can help keep your family safe.

Headshot of Jordan Ottaway
Jordan Ottaway has been writing for Neighborhood Credit Union since 2016. He also manages Neighborhood CU’s social media accounts. As an avid photographer and golfer, you can usually find him on the course or out taking photos. Sometimes both at the same time.