People can vote for as many essays as they choose, but only get one vote per essay. Students are encouraged to share their essay with friends and family or on social media to generate more votes. Only votes from the scholarship website will be considered. Only one essay per state will be chosen to receive the $2,000 scholarship. 

Sarah Brittany Boyer – Lakeland High School

Being a young consumer in this day and age can be scary. In our growing world there are several ways to be a consumer. From online shopping to traditional stores, there are thousands of businesses to navigate. Young consumers in the 18-24 age group are starting to buy and purchase by themselves, so it is no surprise that this age group has the highest susceptibility for falling victim to scams. Luckily, there are a few ways to avoid consumer scams for these young groups. Being aware and taking the time to find businesses to trust are the best ways to reduce the risk of being scammed.

The first step to consumer safety is to be informed of scams and how to avoid them. The Better Business Bureau, a non-profit organization that promotes marketplace trust, not only labels safe businesses and companies to help consumers avoid scams, but also have several articles that help individuals avoid all types of scams. In one particular article, “BBB Tips”, the organization gives ten helpful ways to avoid scams. For example, the article explains that if a website does not have “https” in the address, the product could be invalid. Personally, I was not aware of this fact before. By just taking a few seconds to read an article from a reliable source like the BBB, I feel more informed and better equipped for the consumer world. By being aware of scams and how to avoid them, more young consumers will be safe from the increasingly complicated world of buying. 

The internet has made buying and selling immensely easier and faster than ever before. Another mistake that I find myself and many others guilty of is not taking time to check the validity of a product. Because buying products today is so fast and simple, it is easy to get caught up in quickly buying something. On top of this, I have noticed that many companies advertise that there is a limited time sale or product. They convince consumers that if they do not buy it right away, the opportunity will be gone. Often, this is false information combined with the fast pace of our world, scamming can happen because young consumers are buying without thinking. To avoid scams, I would change my mindset that I have to buy something fast. Instead, by taking the time to think about what I am buying and who I am buying from, I can make a rational decision. If everyone could slow down and make sure they are buying from a reliable source, young consumers would stand a better chance against scams.

Although navigating the vast world of consumerism can be confusing and dangerous for a young consumer, by taking the right steps, everyone can avoid being scammed. Young consumers have a unique challenge of an increasing consumer world of ease and millions of options. By being aware of scams, how to evade them, and taking the time to make a good consumer decision, we can combat scams. 

About BBB Northwest + Pacific Torch Talk

Torch Talk is an online and printed resource for both consumer and business news. It serves as a tool for businesses and consumers to learn more about the latest news and scam alerts, helpful business tips, BBB events and programs, and more. For more information or to subscribe, visit trust-bbb.org/torchtalk/.