Tips to prevent you from falling for back to school scams

Diane Wilson Image
Monday, August 15, 2022
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As you're shopping for school supplies you also need to be aware that scammers are trying to catch you off guard.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- As you're shopping for school supplies, new clothes, and any other things you need to make sure your kids are ready for the first day, you also need to be aware that scammers are trying to catch you off guard. It can be a stressful time making sure your child is ready to get back into the classroom. If you're shopping online, you can't let your guard down.

The ads are everywhere online as back-to-school deals are here, but before you click buy, take a second look as scammers are lurking too. Hank Schless with Lookout, a company that provides security, privacy, and identity theft protections says his company is seeing more and more websites and social media ads that make it appear they're legit retailers.

He says, "People who are behind these campaigns are getting better and they're getting a little trickier. The tough thing is that on mobile devices it's a lot harder to spot these red flags, and these are things like a small typo in the URL that they're that they are sending you."

To protect yourself from scammers you need to always check the URL to see if it's a company you're familiar with. Also, look at the company logo as typically for the scam websites it's a little off from the company they're trying to copy-cat. If you see any grammatical and spelling errors those are also big red flags. Plus, don't get tempted by too-good-to-be-true deals.

Since a lot of work is now done online, now is a good time to change and update passwords for not only school websites, but also apps they use as with so many data breaches scammers will use your information that's on the dark web. "Where they will basically run these automated scripts that take your username and password and basically try them across that combination across you know, probably hundreds of thousands of commonly used websites and see what else works and then be able to get into those accounts," Schless adds.

While you always hear about having anti-virus protection on your laptop or desktop, don't forget about your smartphones and tablets, as you can install security software to monitor and identify scam websites, emails, and text messages.