Popular Back-to-School Scams and How to Avoid Them
Most college students know that the expenses incurred when returning to school will entail more than just the tuition fee. As a parent or caregiver who supports your child in their academic studies, you will always be on the lookout for the best possible deals that you’re able to find. Because of this understanding, there are scammers who are not only looking for ways to obtain your information but also ways to steal your hard-earned money. For any parent or student, losing money to online scammers can be exceedingly devastating. Being armed with all the necessary information will prevent both the student and the parent from being scammed. With that being said, here is the breakdown of the most popular back to school scams you should be aware of.
Grant and Scholarship Scams
Due to the huge expenses that are associated with higher learning, many students will apply for scholarships, grants and lots of other financial aid to offset all the high costs. During such periods, scammers are normally on high alert, preying on individuals who will be looking for financial assistance. The great news is that, if you know how to spot them, then you will be able to avoid them. You can opt to attend scholarship and financial aid seminars so that you’re able to immunize yourself against the hard selling techniques used by scammers.
Distance Education Scams
Another type of scam that you could easily fall for is the distance education scam. According to the United States Department of Education, distance education were offered by 97 percent of public two-year institutions in the Academic Year 2006-2007. However, this, in turn, does not mean that all distance education degrees are equal. It is highly advisable to avoid any schools which will display any of the characteristics listed below,
- The school is not recognized or accredited by the higher education accreditation council.
- Diplomas are only guaranteed with payment and can be obtained within a short period.
- The tuition fee is charged per degree.
- The school has no faculty members listed on the school’s official website.
During this period of the year, employment scams are normally targeted towards college students. This is due to the fact that the scammers are well aware that the students will be new in specific areas, and will need jobs to make some extra cash. One way to avoid employment scams is by staying away from job opportunities which promise to offer great earning potential. Additionally, you should never pay anyone to secure a job opportunity.
Selling and Buying Scams
Students normally go online to either buy or sell items at the start of the semester, like furniture, bikes or vehicles. Many times they may pay for an item but eventually receive nothing. Additionally, they may also try to sell something online and the buyer ends up sending a check for more than what the item is worth. Upon sending the item, they find out that the check was fake. With that being said, when sending money online or conducting any online transaction, be sure to use money remittance companies with a proven track record.