If you haven't talked to your kids about online safety yet, you better get to it because a new study has found more teens fall victim to online scams than senior citizens do each year in Illinois.


Tech-Savvy Problems

When it comes to online behavior I'm pretty sure we've all made the assumption that senior citizens are the ones that usually fall victim to scams, but it turns out that is not quite true.

Yes, a large number of seniors fall victim to scams each year in Illinois, but the number of teens under 20 years old that are too is very concerning.

A new study by Social Catfish found that Illinois is the 7th most-scammed state in the nation with just under 18,000 victims and over $203,000,000 lost to scammers in 2021. What's even more alarming is that the number of people 20 years and younger that have fallen for online scams has grown by over 1100% since 2017! HOLY CRAP!

Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Unsplash
Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Unsplash

4 Common Scams That Target Teens

When you have a surge in tech-savvy people falling for scams each year, it's pretty obvious that the bad guys have figured out how to step up their game to take advantage of tech-dependant residents. Here are the 4 most common scams that target Illinois teens according to Social Catfish's findings:

  • "Sextortion" - Primarily targeted to teenage boys, scammers posed as attractive females on social media send nude photos and then ask the boys to do the same. After they receive their nude pics they demand money so the picutres won't be sent to family or posted online. (Always do a reverse image search to help confirm identity!)
  • Student Loan Forgiveness - Scammers are creating fake websites using the Department of Education logo and asking for account numbers so that school loan payments can be reimbursed. (The only website you should use for loan forgiveness issues is studentaid.gov)
  • Online Gaming - Scammers are sending phishing links in game chats for purchasing items and upgrades on most gaming sites and then stealing the credit card info. (NEVER clink on a link you receive in a game chat!)
  • Talent Scouts - Scammers send messages on TikTok and Instagram claiming the user has been selected for a modeling or acting job that requires a talent scout fee to be payed. (Always research the talent scout "company" before you send or do anything!)

Now that you know what scammers are up to, make sure you talk to your teens about what they need to be on the lookout for and what they should NEVER click on!

KEEP READING: These are the top 6 scams connected to the pandemic

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