How do we Protect Our Children from Online Scams

Are your children using Instagram, Facebook, or any other social media website?   How do we keep our children safe from scams and protect our families?   As a parent who did not grow up with social media and who is learning right along with my children, it is very difficult to monitor or even understand what our children our doing.


Beware of a scam on Instagram that we should all be discussing with our children.  Scammers are having our children load money on a Vanilla Reload card and telling our children that they will double their money.  All they have to do is go put money on the card and give them the pin number on the back.   Within minutes the money did not double but instead completely disappeared from the acccount.   For more information from NBC CT on this scam click on the link :


Instagram Scam


For more information on how to protect our children and ourselves, please visit



There is  information for parents and children, teens, young adults, adults and older adults.


In regards to the Pre-Paid Card Scams, the  Wants you to Know


A prepaid card is a plastic card that you can use to pay for things. You buy a card with money “loaded” on it. Then you can use the card to spend up to that amount. Once you spend the money on the card, you do not owe a bill, since you are using money you already have.

A prepaid card is also called a prepaid debit card, or a stored-value card. You can buy prepaid cards at many local stores and online. Shop carefully for your prepaid card. Many come with fees and charges that will be deducted from the amount of money you can spend.

Scammers are using prepaid cards as a new way to steal your money. They may call or email you and tell you that to win a prize or pay an overdue bill, you have to go buy a prepaid card. The scammer will tell you how much money to put on the card. Then the scammer will ask you for the serial number on the back of the card. This number allows the scammer to transfer the money from your card onto one of his cards.

Why scammers use prepaid cards

  • Prepaid cards are hard to trace
  • No photo identification is needed to collect or spend money loaded on a prepaid card
  • One card can be loaded with thousands of dollars
  • Transactions are quick


And What to Do.

Prepaid cards can be a useful way to pay for things. But treat them carefully so a scammer doesn’t get access to your money.

How to protect your prepaid cards

  • Never give anyone the serial number
  • Do not send prepaid cards in the mail

  • Never give another person the receipt from something you bought with your prepaid card

  • If an online seller tells you to pay with a certain prepaid card, make sure that the seller is approved by the card company. For example, green dot MoneyPak is one prepaid card that seems to be popular with scammers. If you are told by an online seller that you must pay with a “green dot” card, you can check online to see if that seller is approved by the green dot company. The stores that accept the green dot card are listed on the company’s website at Other prepaid cards also list their approved partners on their websites.

  • If a caller tells you that you have an unpaid bill that you must pay with a prepaid card, it is a scam. Hang up and call the company directly. You can confirm that your account is okay. You can also let the company know about the scam.

If you receive phone calls or emails from scammers asking you to buy a prepaid card, tell the Department of Consumer Protection. Give us as much information as you can. You can email us at

Always remember Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance is here to keep you protected  .

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job


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