Teens are vulnerable to scams and identity thefts. Teens are easy targets because their personal details are easily available on the social networking websites such as Twitter and Facebook.
According to Federal Trade Commission, teens account for nearly 31% of the identity theft cases in the country. In most of the cases, teens come to know about the scams when they apply for a credit card or driving license. Scammers have already done the damage by this time. They have left a huge debt burden upon the shoulder of the teen.
Identity-thefts make a huge negative impact upon the teens. They find problem in qualifying for loans and credit cards. They even find it hard to get employment as recruiters check their credit reports before recruiting them. If you don't want your teen to face the same predicament, then use the following identity theft prevention tips now.
1. Have a look at your teen's social profiles: Like a perfect specimen of GenY, your teen must be an avid social networker. Your teen may have accounts in multiple social networking websites. He/she may have unknowingly shared his/her date of birth and contact details on the social networking websites. These details can be used to confirm his/her identity on various financial documents. Fraudsters are just waiting to get such information. So, ask your teen to not make big mistakes while social networking.
2. Teach tricks to avoid scams: Teens are not much financially aware. On the other hand, you know how to tackle your financial life. You know the tricks to avoid scams. So, as a parent, it is your responsibility to teach those tricks to your teen. Ask your teen to check his/her checking accounts every month.
Ask your teen to not participate in online quizzes. This makes him/her more vulnerable to scams. Your teen has to give personal information before answering the questions. Unless, it is a very big website, fraudsters can easily decode the information. They can use the details to get access to your teen's credit accounts.
If you're teen is really interested in quizzes, then ask him/her to participate in websites which maintain high level of security. This would prevent the fraudsters from getting access to the data.
Is your teen addicted to online games? If yes, then tell your kid the negative side of playing in the online gaming communities. Your teen can play with any person in these communities. Fraudsters can participate in these communities only to dig out his/her personal information such as account details. Tell your teen that his partner in the game community can very well be a fraudster. So, he/she should not divulge details while playing games.
3. Check out your teen's checking account: Most teens don't check their bank account statements every month. This is a very bad financial habit. You can advise your teen to download bank's mobile application. This way he or she will be able to go through his/her account statements at any moment. If your teen is not interested in downloading the application, then you can ask him/her to check the online statements.
Finally, ask your teen to use a strong password as security on various accounts. Ask him/her to not give easy passwords. In addition to this, ask your teen to not leave his smartphone anywhere.