Teens Rise As Victims of Scams

The BBB says the number one group being scammed in the U.S. are people from their late teens to early twenties.
Teens Rise As Victims of Scams

Money. One of the many things that make the world go ‘round. From printed bills to cryptocurrency, some will resort to tricks to gain money from innocent, unsuspecting victims. Those individuals can be referred to as scammers. While most would expect older generations to fall victim to scammers on a more regular basis, it actually occurs more often on the opposite end of the spectrum.

Today, the number one group being scammed in the U.S. are people from their late teens to early twenties all across the nation to fulfill the want of those who can hide behind their screens, according to the Better Business Bureau BBB Scam Tracker.

Scamming can happen anywhere to anyone. Some students at Englewood High School shared some of their own scamming stories, one of those students being senior, Michael Marquis. Marquis says he personally had been scammed by message, “I was given a message on Facebook Messenger and when I opened it, it was a link to a YouTube site. It redirected me to an external site, and it was able to take my username and password from me and lock me out of my Facebook account.” Marquis was later able to recover his information but at a cost, “they purchased something on Facebook marketplace for around $30.”

Information from the BBB
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Scammers are in no way considered new or advanced, as it has been done through simple text messages and even emails. From fake messages from your “bank,” to “free rewards,” to calls from people posing as your loved ones, scammers continue to prey on the unsuspecting daily. The top six scams being used today are;


  • Fake Social Media Prizes- Someone creates a fake account on a social media site and informs you that you have won a prize or have been selected to win a prize. The only catch is that they need your account number and all of your information for you to receive it. This is an easy way for the person on the other side of the screen to gain your information and use it as they please.
  • Romance/Catfishing- You never know who you could be talking to online, and anyone can hide who they really are. People can fall in love over the internet and believe that the other person is who they say they are until money becomes part of the picture. Someone could use your kindness against you, make up a story, and take advantage by asking for money. 
  • Sextortion- This form of scamming can be used in multiple ways. You send an explicit picture to someone you met online or someone you know. In return, they save the image and threaten to expose those pictures to your friends, your family, your job, etc. The only way they say you can avoid this is if you send them money or more pictures. It is easy to get caught up in this for many people. It’s important to remember that nothing you send disappears. Don’t send these pictures, and if you do, don’t give the person what they want. 
  • Online Gaming App Rewards- You want to pay for rewards in a game you play on your phone and type in your information, but now those people have your credit card information. The best way to avoid this is to only do in-app purchases directly from the game manufacturer. 
  • Fake Online Shopping Sites- You see a fake website and it just so happens to have your favorite brand, or at least it appears that way. Do not buy clothes from them unless you are sure the site is real. Scammers can create fake shopping sites to lure people in and gain access to their information. They advertise on TikTok and other social media sites. You may never get the clothing item and if you do it is terrible quality and not worth your money.
  • Employment Scams- You’re hired to work from home, and you receive a check for home office equipment. After the check arrives, the scammer poses as the employer and asks you to wire or electronically transfer the money to cover the costs. Once you send the money, you learn the check is bad. You must now cover the money you transferred. To avoid employment scams, be wary of offers that seem too good to be true and on-the-spot offers. Always do background research on the job offer.


Senior Abisai Quezada-Flores knows of instances of these scams. Quezada-Flores says that his 20-year-old brother had fallen victim to an insurance scam, “They had him thinking that it was insurance he was getting for his car, but it wasn’t any insurance at all. They didn’t really ask for anything, but would ask for information about his car and stuff like that.” People have their own speculations about why scammers do what they do, and Quezada-Flores hits the nail right on the head, “They just wanted to get money from him. They always want to try and get something that they want”

Dillon Schmidt, a teacher at EHS, says there have been many occasions when people online have tried to scam him. Though he has never been scammed personally, Schmidt does offer advice to the younger generation, “I would be skeptical of any time that somebody says they’re giving anything away for free. That’s almost never the case. Also, be skeptical of social media in general, but also just things that are free, like free-to-use products. If it’s free, it normally means that you’re the product. So they’re either gathering data or they are using you in some way that you might not be privy to or, might not understand fully.”

Principal Ryan West was surprised to hear teens are the largest set of victims. He knows scammers are out there and he believes it’s important to be observant, “I’ve always been pretty skeptical because I hear about it all the time so I make sure to always check who’s emailing me.”

West knows students at EHS need to learn how to deal with scammers. It is a part of their education he hopes they won’t learn as a victim, “Always check the return email. Anyone can copy a photo onto an email, but usually, you’ll find the return email is some random numbers and letters. Also always be vigilant. I would have never guessed the most vulnerable demographic now would have been people between 17-25 years old. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.”


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    Dolores RuybalSep 5, 2023 at 6:28 pm

    Very thought provoking article with real world information to protect yourself. Thanks I’ll be passing this information on.