FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – As children head back into the classroom, the Better Business Bureau is asking parents to be aware of scams, including what might look like advertisements.
The BBB says scammers are not only targeting parents but also children this year through junk mail and ads that are just too good to be true.
Central California BBB President and CEO Blair Looney cautions the public about clickbait. For example, just this week he got an email that said 60% off supplies but it doesn’t state the original price, baiting customers to click on the link.
“A child might see this and say, ‘oh, I can help mom and dad out,’ they click on this and now their information is being gathered by this business,” said Looney.
Each year, scammers reel in shoppers through ads and junk mail by offering hard-to-find items for discounted prices.
“If the offer seems too good, it’s probably not true,” said Looney.
Looney advises parents to make sure the URL or email is legitimate. Then, he said to be alert for sites collecting data to sell information to advertisers in hopes of more sales.
“Parents make a list of the things you need, stick to that list rather than overspend, and create a situation that is not good for you,” said Looney.
Another back-to-school scam involves social media. In this scam, scammers collect data from children’s social media, like their birthdays and address, to build a profile where to steal the children’s identities.
Looney says parents should sit down with their children to explain the dangers of sharing too much personal information online.
“Don’t frighten them that they are prey for someone but make them aware that what they post will be available to anyone in the world,” said Looney.
The BBB has tips for parents, children, and teachers to stay safe this year at this link.