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Cyber thieves targeting kids through gaming, TikTok accounts

By Brittany Weiner

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    NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WSMV) — Scammers are targeting kids in unsuspecting ways and the impact could be long-lasting.

Scammers have been known to get kids’ information through various chats or even through their social media accounts.

Educating your kids on what to look for can be one of the best lines of defense.

Every second your child is on their phone, iPad or computer, or gaming console is an opportunity for a breach of information.

“We are seeing such a spike in activity right now in scams focusing on kids and really one of the main reasons why I study show they spend about 7 1/2 hours a day on their devices,” says J. Michael Skiba, a cybercrime and financial crime expert.

Each year more than one million kids are victims of scams, totaling over $2.6 billion in losses.

Dr. Skiba says many times these scams are kids inadvertently sharing too much information.

“When we look at studies, we find that about 60% of children receive an instant message or a text from a stranger and about half of them actually reply.”

Kids also tend to divulge too much through video game chats, or in the background of videos posted to social media.

Dr. Skiba says to educate your child to not openly disclose identifying information, like a birth date and location, and to not click on links they don’t know.

Another form of protection is for parents to set up strict privacy controls on your child’s computers and phones…which can be done through their phone’s settings.

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