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Protect your child from online scammers

Online scammers and thieves are out looking for any personal information they can capture, such as your username, passwords, and PIN. While you might feel digitally savvy enough to evade the tactics of cyber criminals, is your child?

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, children ages 8-18 now have an average of 7.5 daily hours of screen time for entertainment. With all of that online surfing, there will be plenty of opportunities for your child to fall victim to an online scam. Here’s what you can do:

Talk about scams

Online scams can come in all shapes and sizes, which can make them trickier for children to identify. Start your conversation by asking your child what they think an online scam looks like and then explain any other types of ploys that are used.

Common scams to talk about are:

  • Phishing: email scams
  • Smishing: SMS or text message scams
  • Vishing: voicemail scams

Pressure and secrecy

Children aim to please, and do not want to let down their friends, family, and other loved ones. Make sure your child understands online scammers can pose as people they know when asking for money or information. Oftentimes, scammers will pressure children to comply with their requests or tell them not to speak to anyone else about the request to avoid detection.

Contests and prizes

Who doesn’t love something free? Explain to your child that clicking links to enter contests or receive a free toy that they “won” are too good to be true and should be avoided. These scams may often be sent via text message or posted on social media.

For more information about staying safe and smart, visit Tri City’s Fraud Prevention webpage.

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