Protecting the Younger Generation from Fraud

While elders are the most often targeted age group for fraud, members of younger generations can also find themselves in a vulnerable position and susceptible to fraud. While they do not always have the extent of resources elders do, a young person who is victimized by fraud can suffer financial repercussions of fraudulent activity for many years. Here are some examples targeting younger people.

Job Scam

Searching for a job can be tough, and scammers will seek to take advantage of individuals growing desperate to find honest work. Job scams often ask for an upfront investment or access to credit card or bank account information and take the money without offering a job. Be wary of any job that sends you payment upfront and then requests you to send a portion back to them or to another person.

The sources of the job listing can come from anywhere: a job placement service, newspaper listing, online or social media service. If you have any suspicions about the legitimacy of the job, do research on the hiring company. If you are using a job placement service, get all your agreements for the service in writing.

Card Cracking

In this scenario, a scammer contacts a soon-to-be victim (usually via social media) and offers an easy way to get some extra cash. All they have to do is provide the scammer with their debit card PIN. The scammer will then deposit a fraudulent check and immediately withdraw cash out of the account using an ATM. The victim is then instructed to report the activity to the financial institution for reimbursement. Unfortunately, this turns the victim into an accomplice of a crime and potentially facing criminal charges. Meanwhile, the fraudster has gotten away with extra money.

Many financial scams can be avoided by taking precautionary steps to verify the validity of an offer or request from an individual or organization. Watch out for promises of quick ways to earn cash. Opportunities that seem too good to be true usually are. Most importantly, never give out your financial information to anyone else.