It’s that exciting time of year! Cap and gowns are coming in and Pomp and Circumstance is running through your head as you prepare for the big event. If you’re a parent of a soon-to-be high school graduate, dollar signs may be running through your head as well, along with advice … and lots of it!
If you’re a grad, get ready to hear life experience stories from your graduation speaker and many others. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has some advice for you as well. Learn how to recognize financial scams. Younger people report losing money to fraud more often than older generations. According to Colleen Tressler, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC, 43% of those who reported fraud were in their 20s, while only 15% were in their 70s.
What can you do to help avoid financial fraud?
– Never give out money or any personal identifying information (PII) in response to an unexpected request. Be wary of texts, phone calls and emails. Scammers commonly pretend to be someone you trust.
– Do your research. Be smart with your online searches and use terms like “complaint,” “scam” or “alert” along with the company name when you search.
– Understand that there’s no such thing as truthful caller ID anymore.
– Don’t wire money. Government and legitimate companies will not require you to pay for products or services with a re-loadable gift card. Even using cards like iTunes and Google Play are risky.
– Recognize that robocalls are illegal and should be reported to the FTC. If you mistakenly answer one of these calls, hang up immediately.
Looking for a job after graduation can be quite stressful especially if you’re supporting yourself for the first time.
– Check out job placement firms closely. These companies should not be charging high fees in advance for any type of service without a guarantee of placement.
– Keep in mind that the promise of a job isn’t the same thing as job. If you have to pay for that promise, it’s likely a scam. Read More
– Realize that there are many fake jobs listed on social media. Google the company name and visit their website along with the search term “career.” If jobs are not listed on their website and nothing comes up on Google, those are red flags.
– Don’t give out any credit or bank account information over the phone to a company unless they have hired you and have agreed to pay you something.
– Get job details in writing and take time to go over the small print. A legitimate company won’t pressure you into making an on-the-spot decision regarding your career.
CNN recently reported some smart money moves for graduates, such as aiming to live within your means and knowing what your means actually are. Check out their tips HERE.
Congratulations and make sure you enjoy your special day. We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors!
For more information, visit https://www.consumer.ftc.gov.
Photo courtesy Jonathon Daniels via unsplash.com.