The noted Greek author Diogenes Laertius once famously said "The foundation of every state is the education of its youth." In uncertain and perilous times like these, this quote rings especaially true. As every individual's period of youth turns into young adulthood, it is important that they have been educated on the roles of a consumer and the realities of consumer exploitation.
One of the largest potential pitfalls revolves around financial independence. As one becomes more removed from their parents, they are increasingly apt to purchase items like credit cards. Unfortunately, these new adults are frequently unaware of the vast amounts of identity thieves looking to prey. On their own, many would likely be unable to decipher potential identity thieves. Much less would they think to shred documents with personal information.
Another venue rife with risk for young people is get-rich-quick schemes. Many young people are college students trying to pay off astronomical student loans and the idea of receiving money without having to work is very appealing. The classic case goes something like this: “college student receives $5,000 in random drawing. The only caveat is they have to pay $1,000 to receive this money.” Of course, the student’s promised share never arrives.
The fundamental step to changing this cycle is an awareness that is initiated in conversations with parents. This would be augmented greatly by a school curriculum implementing consumer protection concepts. Once these procedures begin happening on a more regular basis, the futures of all of us will become much brighter.
Posted by Johnie Freatman