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PROJECT: SCAMS TARGETING TEENAGERS

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Concerning our latest project regarding scams targeting teens, here are several others with teenagers in mind. Read our previous project for more context: 

 

It is well-known that today's teenagers have grown up in a world dominated by computers and smartphones.


As a result, they are highly tech-savvy and adept at using the internet. However, they may also be more naïve and trusting than other age groups regarding online interactions. This combination of knowledge and inexperience can make them especially vulnerable to scam artists, who are increasingly active online.


Therefore, parents and educators must take steps to educate young people about the potential dangers of the internet and teach them how to protect themselves online.

 
  • Experts have confirmed that minors under the age of 18 are at a higher risk of becoming victims of identity theft than adults.

  • This is primarily because they usually take longer to recognise that identity thieves have targeted them, giving criminals more time to use their identities for illegal activities.

  • Furthermore, their personal information is often used in synthetic identity theft, where criminals create a fake identity by combining information from several different individuals.

  • The onset of COVID-19 and the resulting isolation were especially hard on young people, leading to increased scams targeting teens.

  • Scams that target teenagers abound on all social media platforms.

  • Fraudsters use social media to trick teens into providing personal information, which can be used for identity theft.

  • Many scams involve ads and online offers, promising luxury goods at amazingly low prices, but the goods never materialise.

  • Other scams involve contests, scholarships, or employment opportunities requiring the teen to pay a fee or deposit.

  • Yet another trick is to lure teens with free services for smartphones that actually incur a monthly charge.

  • Social media is a breeding ground for identity theft scams. Some of the most common ones are surveys or contests that ask for personal information and catfishing, in which the scammer pretends to be someone else and befriends the victim, intending to steal money, personal information, or other valuable assets.

 

Online Shopping Scams:

  • Teens and millennials are frequent online shoppers, often purchasing expensive goods.

    • However, they can be easily fooled by fraudulent websites that take their money without delivering the promised products or services.

  • These websites may also trick them into providing personal information that can be used for identity theft or other malicious purposes.

  • Additionally, some online retailers offer counterfeit products disguised as genuine ones, and many young shoppers also fall for this.

  • It is important to note that products sold at significantly lower prices than their retail value are usually fake – teens must realise that offers that are too good to be true are in fact not true.

  • Usually, these discounted items do not arrive after payment, leaving the buyer out of pocket.

  • Unfortunately, many teenagers are too embarrassed to report these scams to their parents or authorities, worsening the problem.

  • It is crucial that young shoppers are aware of these risks and that they take necessary precautions when making online purchases.

Identity Theft:

  • This particular scam is widespread and can be found on various online platforms, such as social media, messaging apps, websites, email, and pop-up windows.

  • It is worth mentioning because it is one of the most common scams.

  • Identity thieves often target younger people as they are more likely to be naive and less aware of the dangers of sharing personal information.

  • This can make it easier for them to obtain sensitive data that can be used for identity theft.

  • A survey on this topic found that individuals aged 18 to 29 were more susceptible to identity theft (15%) than those 45 years old or older (8%).

  • Any online interaction that asks for personal information could be an identity theft operation:

    • False employment opportunities.

    • Fake applications for credit cards, scholarships and grants, and student loans.

    • So-called freebies.

Beware of job scams, as they can lead to identity theft:

  • Some of these scams involve paying young people more than they should have been paid.

  • The scammers trick them into depositing the extra money back into the employer account.

  • However, the payment sent by the scammer is eventually returned unpaid, leaving the young person without the wired money.

Skill or Talent Contests:

  • There is an online scam that has been thriving outside of social media.

  • It is a variation of acting and modelling scams, which are still prevalent on the internet. 

  • Other scams that have become popular recently involve skill-based contests. 

  • These contests urge teenagers to enter their artwork, music compositions, or creative writing to win money and fame.

  • These scams may or may not require an entry fee, and if the teen wins, they are promised more cash.

Scholarship and Grant Scams:

  • As college education costs continue to rise, many students and their parents are worried about financing higher education.

  • Some scammers take advantage of this situation by offering unsolicited scholarships and grants that are too good to be true.

  • These fake offers may attempt to steal your identity or ask you to pay for so-called proprietary information about scholarships or free money that does not exist. 

  • These fraudulent offers often claim to guarantee that you will get your money back if you do not receive the scholarship.

  • They may also promote special fee-based or unclaimed scholarships that can only be accessed by paying a fee. 

  • It is vital to be sceptical of these offers and research before providing personal information or paying any fees.

Cellphone Freebies:

  • As almost all teenagers now have access to cell phones, scammers have started targeting them with deceptive offers of free ringtones and wallpapers that they receive regularly.

  • These offers fail to mention that by accepting them, the teen has actually signed up for an expensive service with monthly fees that can quickly accumulate over time. 

  • To make matters worse, the fees often come with obscure names that do not explain the purpose of the charge.

 

IMPORTANT SAFETY MEASURES:


  • Be cautious of anyone you have not met in person or who is not from an accredited source.

  • Install malware and antivirus software and ensure it is activated.

  • Use unique passwords for every website you visit.

  • Do not click on links from people you do not know or trust.

  • Always be sceptical of unsolicited messages or offers.

  • Check online reviews before visiting a website.

  • Do not give out personal information unless you trust the recipient.

  • Never pay to enter a contest, apply for a scholarship, or get a job.

  • Learn about reverse lookup search engines and how to use them.


 

Children are vulnerable to scams owing to their young age and lack of experience. With many scams occurring over the internet, parents may have difficulty identifying when their child has been scammed. There are measures you can take to safeguard your family and ensure that no one is taken advantage of.

 

Specialised Security Services invites the public to the Mike Bolhuis Daily Projects WhatsApp Group. This group is important in delivering insights into the latest crime trends, awareness, warnings and the exposure of criminals.


HOW TO JOIN THE MIKE BOLHUIS DAILY PROJECTS WHATSAPP GROUP:

• Follow the link to our WhatsApp group:

• "JOIN" to ensure you never miss our daily updates.

• You will receive automatic notifications as soon as a new project is posted.

 
CONTACT MR MIKE BOLHUIS FOR SAFETY AND SECURITY MEASURES, PROTECTION, OR AN INVESTIGATION IF NEEDED.

ALL INFORMATION RECEIVED WILL BE TREATED IN THE STRICTEST CONFIDENTIALITY AND EVERY IDENTITY WILL BE PROTECTED.
 

Regards,

Mike Bolhuis

Specialist Investigators into

Serious Violent, Serious Economic Crimes & Serious Cybercrimes

PSIRA Reg. 1590364/421949

Mobile: +27 82 447 6116

Fax: 086 585 4924

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EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: All potential clients need to be aware that owing to the nature of our work as specialist investigators there are people who have been caught on the wrong side of the law - who are trying to discredit me - Mike Bolhuis and my organisation Specialised Security Services - to get themselves off the hook. This retaliation happens on social media and creates doubt about our integrity and ability. Doubt created on social media platforms is both unwarranted and untrue. We strongly recommend that you make up your minds concerning me and our organisation only after considering all the factual information - to the exclusion of hearsay and assumptions. Furthermore, you are welcome to address your concerns directly with me should you still be unsatisfied with your conclusions. While the internet provides a lot of valuable information, it is also a platform that distributes a lot of false information. The distribution of false information, fake news, slander and hate speech constitutes a crime that can be prosecuted by law. Your own research discretion and discernment are imperative when choosing what and what not to believe.


STANDARD RULES APPLY: Upon appointment, we require a formal mandate with detailed instructions. Please take note that should you not make use of our services – you may not under any circumstance use my name or the name of my organisation as a means to achieve whatever end.


POPI ACT 4 of 2013 South Africa: Mike Bolhuis' "Specialised Security Services" falls under Section 6 of the act. Read more here: https://mikebh.link/fntdpv

 
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Copyright © 2015- PRESENT | Mike Bolhuis Specialised Security Services | All rights reserved.


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Mike Bolhuis Specialised Security Services

PO Box 15075 Lynn East

Pretoria, Gauteng 0039

South Africa

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