There is nothing worse than someone looking to take advantage of our children here in Alabama. Traditionally, scammers have targeted older adults because they are the most vulnerable. However, according to Social catfish, scams targeting teens have increased 2500%.

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The following are just a few examples of scams that are targeted towards teenagers. The first is those who pretend to be famous influencers. When we were growing up, we had our favorite TV show. Kids now have their favorite YouTube star or social influencer on various media platforms.

They are my favorite influencers!

Those looking to scam the younger generation will create social media accounts similar to the authentic user's account. Scammers will tell their victims they have won a prize, and they need certain information to claim this prize from the "influencer."

Text message SMS scam or phishing concept. Man hands using smart phone

The best way to avoid this is to stay with official accounts verified through the social media platform. A smaller "sub-account" is usually not the influencer, but someone looking for your money.

Hey There Beautiful!

This is not a new scam, but it is very prevalent online. This is the "romance scam." Scammers will find photos online of an attractive person and create a dating account on various apps. Before you know it, they will confess their love for you and then ask for money, gifts or even personal information.


One option, if you feel something is not right, is to run their pictures through a reverse image look-up to see if those pictures come up on other sites. If someone won't video chat or meet in person, that is usually a bad sign, and never communicate through apps like "WhatsApp" and other third-party apps. There, scammers can mask their location and real identity.

Popular Smart Phone Apps Of 2016
Getty Images

Hey, Send Me a Pic

Another tactic scammers use that follows along with the "romance scam" is to try to convince their victims to send intimate or even nude photos with the promise that they will send the same type of photo back.


In reality, what happens is that the scammer will hold the photo and blackmail the victim. They will ask for money - if the victim doesn't pay, the scammer will release it on social media for all to see. Make sure you talk to your kids about never sending nude or compromising pictures to anyone.

As Social Catfish pointed out, Alabama scam victims lost nearly $250 million in 2022. Most victims won't come forward due to shame or embarrassment. However, knowledge is power, so educate yourself and your loved ones.

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