From credit card scams to scholarship scams, millennials are a growing target. According to the Federal Trade Commission, millennials accounted for almost 30% of all reported fraud in 2017.
The National Credit Union Association (NCUA) identifies the following common scams targeting millennials:
– Be wary of sites asking for personal information or scholarship applications with upfront fees. According to a recent study, 41% of scholarship applicants were asked for an upfront fee and 73% of them paid it!
– Those sites asking for an email address will typically sell that address resulting in spam. Look for sites that give you the opportunity to opt out of sharing your email address.
– Stick to free scholarship search tools – the NCUA notes that paid services are rarely beneficial.
– Be aware of those asking for social security numbers, passport numbers, or bank information.
Social Media Scams
– Scammers setting up fake pages for universities and reaching out to college students to acquire personal information ranging from email addresses to more sensitive financial information.
– Be wary of invitations to “like” pages or requests from people you don’t know.
– Stolen identity can be used to make purchases, open up phony accounts, etc.
– Purchase from only trusted websites.
– Look for https (rather than http) to know you’re using a trusted site.
– Avoid signing up from issuers that you do not recognize.
– Look for hidden transactional fees and other important features like annual fees and the annual interest rate.
Celebrity Impersonations on Social Media
How to protect yourself:
– Don’t recognize the number? Don’t answer it. If the call is legitimate and important, they will leave you a message. And keep in mind that government organizations like the IRS will not call you asking for personal information or to send them money.
– If someone is asking for you to send money, don’t, especially if they’re asking for you to use gift cards to do it.
– Protect your personal information both online and in the real world.
– Use common sense. If you see spelling mistakes or someone is asking for money upfront it could be signs of a scam.