Just because people over the age of 55 are, and have been, the focus of many different scams and money grabs doesn't mean there isn't another group with a bullseye on their back.

Teens are high value targets, according to Dennis Horton, director of the Rockford Regional Office of the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Dennis joins us twice a month with the latest in consumer news and tips for you on how to avoid becoming the victim of a scammer. I know scams have been going on since humans started drawing animals on cave walls, but since the beginning of the pandemic last year, scammers have grown to be as prolific as masks.

Not being content with trying to empty the pockets of older generations, scam artists have found another group that they've had almost the same amount of success in fleecing: teenagers.

As Dennis explained this morning, some of the same tactics that have proven effective with other age groups also work very well, if not better in some cases, with younger people. Teens may have a far better grasp of technology than their grandparents, but many don't have the life experience under their belts to know when they're being taken for a ride.

Common scams against teens include fake scholarships, which encourage high school age boys and girls to pay out money to "ensure that you get the scholarship you want." Many times, the scholarship they think they're applying for is phony, and if it isn't, the person the teen is communicating with has no connection to scholarship opportunities whatsoever.

There are also romance scams where the scam artist pretends to be the same age as the intended victim and works to develop a relationship that can later be exploited for money, or in the worst case, is a set-up for a planned abduction.

Talk to the teens in your life about this growing problem.

Dennis also alerted us to scams that are trying to capitalize on the upcoming Amazon Prime Days. People have been getting calls telling them that something is wrong with their Amazon Prime account, and that to make sure they can take advantage of the deals on Prime Day, their account needs to be re-verified. The only thing that happens if you agree to re-verify is that your account information winds up in the hands of a criminal.

The final alert that Dennis passed along to us this morning is for vacationers. If you're planning on renting someplace for a vacation getaway, make sure you double check the place you intend to rent. Scam victims have found themselves with no place to stay and a pile of money gone from their wallet when they got to their vacation rental spot that was never actually for rent to begin with.

Take a listen, as Dennis breaks down some of the above information in greater detail:

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