Too techy to be scammed? Not so much. How to scamproof vulnerable young people

If you think the techy young people in your life are too techy to be scammed, the Federal Trade Commission has an important warning for you.

According to data from the FTC, people in their 20s reported losing money to fraud at a higher rate than people in their 70s.

The FTC encouraged those who count themselves as older adults to use their accumulated knowledge during Older Americans Month to help the young people in their life better spot and avoid scams.

But where to start?

According to the FTC, the top scams young people reported included impersonator scams (think somebody pretending to be Amazon), job scams (think “amazing” offers to work from home) and investment scams (think cryptocurrency).

To help young people who might be swayed by these tempting lures, the FTC said to remind them that scams take different twists and turns, but, nearly always, a scammer pretends to be someone you trust to trick you into sending money or personal information.

Ask if they’ve seen something like these examples on social media, gaming sites, messaging apps, or somewhere else. And remind them: these are scams.

As you talk, here’s some other advice to share, courtesy of the FTC:

  • Don’t respond to unsolicited offers. If you get an out-of-the-blue call, text, or e-mail that seems to come from an online retailer, your bank, credit card, or a payment app, they’re likely phishing scams. Don’t click links. Don’t respond. Hit block and delete.
  • Never pay someone who promises a job. No honest employer will ever make you pay for a job. They also won’t send you a check and then tell you to buy supplies, pay for training, or something else — and send back whatever money is left. Those are scams.
  • Don’t believe promises of guaranteed returns or income. There’s no such thing as an investment with little to no risk: not in cryptocurrency or any other investment. But if someone tells you that, you know they’re a scammer.

Finally, if the young people in your life, or you, spot a scam, report it at

About the Author:

A Jacksonville native and proud University of North Florida alum, Francine Frazier has been with News4Jax since 2014 after spending nine years at The Florida Times-Union.