BBB warns of back-to-school scammers

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – From cellphones to school computers, the Better Business Bureau says scammers may be waiting to target your child. 

Whether it’s working on a classroom assignment, or doing homework, your children are almost always online – potentially opening the door to bad guys.

“They’re stealing information, private information that could affect them down the road,” said Brian Baca president of the Better Business Bureau of New Mexico. 

Children may stumble across a website where they can download free media. They may not realize that they’re downloading a virus. Once that file is downloaded to any device, the cyber thief can track financial transactions, your location and your Wi-Fi without you even knowing it. 

“Once it’s out there on the web, it’s out there forever, and there’s no getting it back,” said Baca. 

Around this time of year, the social media feed is usually flooded with adorable back-to-school photos. They usually include a first day of school board that shows their name, age, height – information that scammers or predators would be able to see.

“You’re just opening your whole family up for you know, for potential theft,” Baca said. 

Then, there’s Zoom bombing that was seen during the pandemic. This happens when a Zoom link is shared publicly over the internet and accessible to everyone. It gives access to someone who shouldn’t be there.

“What they have to make sure that they’re on protected websites that the HTTPS lock symbol is so critical,” said Baca. 

Backing up lesson plans and assignments is the best defense against viruses, malware and other online threats.  So make sure you stay up to date on the most current software to protect against them.