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Kids' Phone Safety Blog

10 Popular Online Scams You Should Tell Your Kids About

March 21, 2017
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All parents know that modern kids can’t imagine their life without the Internet. Most of the children spend some time on the World Wide Web every single day, chatting with friends, watching videos, playing online games or looking for the useful information for their studies.

However, even while doing such a simple thing as, for example, downloading a song, a child may run the risk and become a victim of an online fraudster trying to lure gullible people and bilk out their money or a piece of confidential personal information through the sly phishing scams.

That’s why every parent should consider teaching kids about scams that they may come across online. When your kids know as much as possible about various computer dangers for children and the ways to avoid scams online, they will always stay on the safe side.

Here’s the list of 10 most common online scams your little ones must know about.

  • Nigerian prince

Fake lottery scam, otherwise known as a “Nigerian scam” is one of the most popular scams online. A person receives an email which claims that he/she has won a lottery (even without having participated in any!), or that a wealthy person from Nigeria – or any other country, wants to transfer a few billion dollars to a person’s bank account.

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To get the prize/ the money transfer, a person though needs to send a small sum like $100-200 to pay the taxes/legal fees, Sure enough, there’s no lottery and no any money transfer from another country – the person will keep sending out money to the hoaxers without ever getting anything himself. Children who still lack some life experience may easily fall for this fraud.

  • Online contest

Kids like to compete with their peers and win, especially if they expect to get some cool prizes, as, for example, the latest and very expensive gadgets. The thing is that no one ever wins in such kind of contests, and people who organize them are only looking for more followers for their sites, communities, YouTube channels, etc. What’s even worse, they may be trying to phish for some confidential info.

  • Free stuff

Everyone likes getting gifts for free, especially children. But they should rather avoid any giveaways online as the risk is to share personal info with the fraudsters while filling in some forms and never receive any gifts, of course.

  • Order things online with a huge discount

Another popular online scam that may make kids fall for the super low prices for some stuff they want, order and pay for it. But the chance to receive them is minimal; and even if they do arrive, the goods are of a very low

  • Knock-offs with the fake brand things

This scam works the same way as the one described before. Lots of teenagers are into fashion clothes and want to look smart and appealing. They definitely may take the bait of top brand clothes being sold online for extremely low prices and receive fake things of bad quality as a result.

  • Downloading stuff

Downloading music, films, books, apps or games online from many unreliable sites may result in getting one’s PC, laptop or smartphone infected with viruses, which happens a lot even if you teach your kid to be cautious enough. Other possible consequence: a child falls for “free” download and gets only demo version of a game for free (a passage of a book, ); but later the kid is asked to pay money for the “full version.”

  • “Click the link”

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“Click the link” phishing scams exist in the most various forms, and their main goal is to steal a person’s private information. For example, a child may receive an email notifying that there is a problem with his/her Facebook or another social network account. To fix it, one needs to “click the link” and log in. The thing is that the link leads to a fake duplicate page of a site that hacks passwords, phone numbers, and other pieces of personal information. To check if the alarming message is true, it’s enough to close it and log in the usual way you do – for example, from the page saved in your browser bookmarks.

  • Uncommon notifications

“Your gadget is infected with viruses”/ “You are using an old browser” notifications popping out on the screen is another kind of top popular Children, being alarmed with such cautions, may click the link – and get their gadget infected with the real viruses, or be asked to pay for an antivirus to “clean up” their phone/laptop. That’s why parents should remember of giving the information about computer viruses for kids.

  • Suspicious job offers

“Work at home” job offers may be fetching for the teens looking for their first part-time jobs. This may be sending out some mail, handcrafting things or calling people to offer some goods. Flexible working schedule, good salary. One detail – to get started one should buy some equipment, online courses or a list of clients’ phone numbers. Result – money gone and no job.

  • Fake credit cards

Fake credit cards or fraudulent student loans from the non-existing banks may be offered to teens who are about to leave school and start their student life. No need to say that any offers considering financial issues should be thoroughly checked by parents and accepted only from the official

The Internet makes people’s life easier and enjoyable, but it also hides hundreds of risks, especially for the children who are only gaining their life experience. That’s why teaching kids about online fraudsters, providing information about computer viruses and explaining to them how to report online scams is so important. A powerful parental monitoring app can also be of a good service for parents helping them to keep an eye on the kid’s online activity and prevent a child from falling for a fraud just on time.

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