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There is a sharp rise in the number of young people becoming victim to online scams and fraud. Get safety tips and advice about identity fraud, ticket, talent agency and modelling scams, and employment fraud.
There has been a sharp rise in the number of under-25s hit by scams. As ‘digital natives’, many young people feel like they are unlikely to fall for online scams, increasing their vulnerability.
Over half of this group are unlikely to report when they are defrauded. Young people are especially vulnerable to various online scams and identity fraud.
The fraud prevention organisation CIFAS found that identity fraud victims aged 30 and under were up by 52% in 2015.
The main reason this is thought to be is because of a lack of privacy settings on social media, and the amount of personal details shared on here. So, simply put, update your privacy settings and think twice before you share personal information online about yourself (it could, and probably will, be used against you in some way).
Find out how much information we share online, and just how quickly it can all be found by criminals:
Another common online scam young people fall victim to is a ticket scam. It could be that you pay money for tickets which never turn up, or they never even existed in the first place.
If you are looking at going to a festival, gig or away on holiday, ALWAYS use a trusted website. Look online for user reviews of the site before deciding to share your details with them if you aren’t sure. Always look for https and a padlock in the address bar when you are entering any personal details online, to let you know the website is secure.
Also – when the tickets do come through the post, don’t post a pic of them on social media – some criminals will copy the images you post, and may end up faking your tickets to sell on to others, meaning you could end up missing out on the event entirely.
Model & Talent Agency Scams
Maybe your headhunted on social media by a company who say they think you will be perfect for a new fashion campaign or TV show. If you do, then do not share any information about yourself until you have researched the company to make sure that they a) genuinely exist, and b) are legitimate and trustworthy.
You’re contacted by someone claiming to be an employer, considering you for a position. They may ask you to pay a fee in order to apply for a job, or you may be interviewed over the phone. Eventually, you’re told that you’ve been successful and the job is yours.
Once you have received the offer, the fraudsters will contact you about arrangements. They may talk about arranging travel, accommodation and visas (if the job is abroad or involves international travel). You’ll be referred to an agency that may have a website to give it credibility. The agency is supposed to help you with all your arrangements – for a fee.
When you pay one fee, the agency will tell you about another fee that has to be paid (eg: a deposit on accommodation). In reality, the fraudulent agency makes none of these arrangements. They may also ask for your bank account details to set up salary payments.
Always stick to trusted job websites when looking online, and always be suspicious of employers or agencies calling you up out of the blue. Check any documents they send for spelling and grammatical errors. Be aware of any employer or agency that has an email address which is ‘hotmail’ or ‘yahoo’.
If You Are A Victim of These, or Any Fraud Types
- Report it to Action Fraud
- Alert your bank if there is any risk of money being taken out of your account
- Update social media privacy settings
- Alert any CV hosting, or job website if an employer or agency is fraudulently using their site
- Get any emotional support needed from Warwickshire Victim Support.
Action Fraud’s A-Z of Fraud gives details on these, and many more, fraud types.