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Tips for Teens: Avoiding Financial Scams

Many assume that senior citizens are most at risk for becoming victims of financial scams. In reality, young adults and teenagers are most likely to fall prey. The best defense? Education! Familiarize yourself with these common scams to protect yourself against fraud.

  1. Receiving a job offer without interviewing sounds amazing, right? Proceed with caution! Scammers sometimes post fake job openings and then ask applicants for their online banking credentials under the ruse of setting up direct deposit. A reputable employer will never ask for this information. They might request a voided check or your account and routing numbers, but a prospective employer—or anyone else—should never ask for your username and password.
  2. There’s no shame in wanting cutting-edge tech gadgets, trendy sneakers, or big-name makeup palettes, but the reality is that most teens and young adults can’t afford all of these things. A desire to follow fads without the means to pay for expensive, new products makes this age group especially susceptible to online scams involving counterfeit goods. If you find an item online at a price that seems too good to be true, then it probably is. If you’re lucky, the fraudster might send you a knock-off. But, you’ll probably receive nothing at all.
  3. Speaking of things that are too good to be true, always be wary of strangers who offer financial assistance on social media. This breed of fraudster will slide into your DMs and offer to help wipe out student loan debt or assist you with finding scholarships, all for a “nominal” fee. In some cases, scammers might ask for your online banking credentials to deposit funds. (But don’t forget—you should never give your username and password to anyone!) It might seem like the scammer is trying to help but, in reality, they’re trying to swindle money out of unsuspecting young adults who are desperate for a financial silver bullet.
  4. Check-cashing scams have been around for years, yet they remain one of the most common forms of fraud. This con comes in many different forms—it could be someone using a fake check to purchase an item you’ve listed for sale online, or it could be a phony prize for a contest you never entered. Regardless of the circumstances, be wary of any check that you receive from a stranger. If you’re worried about its validity, have the check reviewed by a teller at your nearest MIDFLORIDA branch.