BBB warns of potential online scams in the middle of back to school


MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – The Better Business Bureau is warning parents and teachers to be vigilant at the start of the new school year, especially of potential online scams.

For parents, the BBB had five tips.

  • Watch out for kids who create website accounts without permission: The BBB says some children may falsely add a date of birth to an account to meet the minimum age requirement. The BBB said parents should be aware of what their child is doing online to avoid the risk of strangers and online advertisers.
  • Beware of contests and giveaways: The BBB has warned parents to avoid giving out banking or credit card information to children, as contests and giveaways can collect a large amount of this information on entry forms.
  • Understanding phishing: Even children can receive spam, according to the BBB, making them susceptible to clicking on links that may be scam websites.
  • Understand the applications: Some apps may collect personal information or target a child with advertisements, notes the BBB. Parents and guardians should be aware that apps can cost them a significant amount of money.
  • File sharing sites: Some websites allow children to download free media, which can lead to the risk of downloading a virus.

The BBB has also given advice to teachers and administrators around these topics:

  • Video conferencing tools: The BBB said teachers should make sure the online software they use is secure.
  • Evaluate cybersecurity plans: Educators should create a plan for how they will notify students, faculty, and staff of important information in the event of a data breach once classes return.
  • Update devices that connect to the internet: Teachers should back up all important lesson plans, personal information, and class assignments to protect them from any online threats.

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