‘It’s the start of scam season’: Common scams the Better Business Bureau sees as kids head back to school

Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 9:19 AM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - The start of the school year followed by popular holidays is what employees at the Better Business Bureau call scam season.

Renee Wikstrom, the deputy director of the Better Business Bureau, said most scams involve credit card offers that target high school and college students.

“When you get that credit card offer in the mail and you’re 18 and you’re like, ‘Wow my first credit card,’ you need to be more careful than just accept it or go online and accept it because there’s a good chance that it’s fake and they’re just phishing for your information,” said Wikstrom.

SPECIAL SECTION | Back-To-School 2022

If a scammer gets your credit card information, make sure you cancel that card and contact the credit card company and bank.

Another common way scammers try to get your information is through email or text messages.

What’s the process to see if an email or text is real and not a scam?

First, when you receive a text or email, never click on links or images directly. Instead, go to the website to make sure it’s a legit business or company.

Second, always check if a website is secure by looking for HTTPS in the URL.

Also, looking online at reviews or seeing if the Better Business Bureau has received any complaints is another way you can check if something is real or a scam.

Wikstrom said to always go through this process if you are unsure about an email or text you receive.

“Before you click on a link, or you go on and put your address in and start to put that credit card number in, you need to take a couple seconds. If it’s for real, it’s going to be there when you go through the process to make sure it’s real,” said Wikstrom.

Parents, as your kids head back to school, it’s also important to be aware of what you share online.

Parent, be careful about information you share in back-to-school photos. (McHenry County...
Parent, be careful about information you share in back-to-school photos. (McHenry County Sheriff's Office // Facebook)((McHenry County Sheriff's Office // Facebook))

Back-to-school pictures that share too much information about your child can end up in the hands of predators.

You should avoid posting your child’s age, grade, school, teacher’s name and identifying features like their height or weight.

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