Nevada Attorney General Warns of Scams Targeting Minors

By Lindsay Frankel
Inside Subprime: November 18

The Nevada Attorney General’s office has issued a warning regarding online scams targeting minors. Since minors have unused social security numbers and don’t keep an eye on their credit, they are prime targets for cyber scammers looking to profit from their information. Parents should educate their children about online privacy in order to help them avoid scams. 

“Scammers don’t discriminate,” said Attorney General Ford. “All users, even young adults, should be cautious about sharing their personal information. If we can help young people recognize these issues now, they can be proactive and protect their personal information, which may be their most valuable asset. The first step is to realize how much of your personal information is already in the public domain.”

Mack Jackson Jr., a cybersecurity expert out of Las Vegas, said most minors don’t realize the value of their personal information. “Their social security number, the address, where their parents work, their mother’s maiden name. Information is the new currency of the 21st century and it’s more valuable than money,” Jackson said. Furthermore, since minors typically don’t apply for loans or credit cards until they’re getting ready to graduate high school and apply for college, it can take years for young people to recognize an incidence of identity theft. 

The Nevada Attorney General’s office said there are several types of scams that might dupe minors into volunteering their private information. 

Cheap Stuff Scams

Most young adults are inundated with advertisements on a daily basis, so they might not recognize that an ad for an inexpensive item is too good to be true. The scam can be an attempt to collect money or get minors to give over their usernames and passwords. 

Young people should research the retailer before completing an online transaction, and parents may want to advise that their children only make purchases from established online stores. 

Scholarship Scams

Accounts promising scholarship funds in exchange for a fee or personal information have been popping up on social media and are designed to dupe minors into giving their credit card info or social security number to scammers. 

Since none of this information is ever needed to hold a legitimate scholarship, nor are upfront fees ever required, students should assume these social media accounts are run by scam artists. 

Account Deletion Scam

Many young people are attached to their social media accounts, something that scammers exploit in order to access their information. In this scam, the fraudster might reach out directly to individuals on social media, advising them to click a link to update their statements in order to avoid having their account locked or deleted. 

The link can sometimes look legitimate, and young people may not notice they are being redirected to a third-party website intended to collect information such as email addresses and passwords. Rather than clicking on any links, young people should always update their account information directly in the settings of their social media accounts. 

The Nevada Attorney General’s office encourages anyone who has identified or fallen victim to a scam to file a complaint with the office or with the Federal Trade Commission

For more information on scams, predatory lenders and payday loans, see our city and state financial guides including states and cities like California, Texas, Illinois and more.