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Clever scams target kids online

"It is a minefield for kids online. They don't have cash to give out, but they do have information," said Bill Smith, an Investigator with the Better Business Bureau.

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Scam alert

Parents beware: internet crooks are targeting your kids online, looking to take their money and their identity. and it's something that could effect your child's future for years.

"It is a minefield for kids. They don't have cash to give out, but they do have information," said Bill Smith, an investigator with the Better Business Bureau.

With adults, scammers often use fear and threats to get what they want.

But when it comes to kids, scammers play simply on desire.

"I thought 'Wow, I'm going to make so much money,'" said Cosima Thomas, a Richmond Heights babysitter.

Thomas almost fell for one of the most common scams thieves use to prey on teens. It's called the Nanny scam and it started with a message on her Care.com profile.

"She said she would pay me $30 an hour. She started asking for my email and talking about cashier checks. She needed money to buy her son a wheelchair," said Thomas.

That's when Thomas started to check it out online, and found out the she behind the ad was actually a he from Oaklahoma and he had hundreds of victims.

"[The scammers] paint really sad stories. There's a sympathy. Because of that, [victims] want to help them, they also want a job for themselves," said Smith.

NewsChannel 5 On Your Side found there are plenty of other ways scammers target younger children and teens

Beware websites offering "free stuff". They often just want your information, or to sign you up for a subscription service that's hard to get out of.

And Many scammers set up websites offering Knockoff goods at unbelievably low prices. Often those goods never even arrive.

Fake Scholarship scams prey on students desperate to finance their college educations and scammers may try to sell your social security number.

And watch out for text scams that tack on extra charges to your cell phone bill for ring tones and subscription services.

According to UKnowKids (http://resources.uknowkids.com/blog/bid/278727/Online-Parenting-10-Common-Internet-Scams-Your-Child-Might-Fall-For) there are plenty of other scams to be aware of, including:

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