10/23/2020 1:55:00 PM BBB Scam Alert: Six scams for college students to avoid
Each fall, college students set out to spend money on building a new college life, while scammers take this opportunity to try and steal some of that money through schemes and scams.
According to BBB's most recent Scam Tracker Risk Report, 41.6% of students reported a loss when exposed to a scam as compared to 28.3% of non-students.
BBB suggests students watch out for the following six financial scams.
Fake Credit Cards - It's no secret that offers to apply for your first credit card are tempting to many students. Not only could this create credit problems for you down the road due to unchecked spending, some of the deals could be phony offers designed to get access to your personal information. Do your research on those credit card flyers and emails before applying. Read our BBB Tip on Credit Card Scams.
Too Good to be True Apartments - It's tempting to hand over credit card information to lock in a convenient apartment so close to campus, especially if it advertises affordable rent. But it's always worth seeing the apartment in person prior to a money transfer.
Safe Credit Reports - At the age of 18, it's a good idea to start practicing some healthy money habits. One such habit is regularly checking your credit report for unusual activity and possible ID fraud. The official government website where you can safely check your credit report for free is annualcreditreport.com.
Scholarship and Grant Scams - Be wary of phone calls from companies guaranteeing they can help reduce loan payments or set you up with a hefty grant. Searching the company's name online could bring up scam alerts or negative reviews from other consumers. You can look up any company at BBB.org and contact your school's financial aid office for advice and help regarding financing your education. Scholarship scams can affect college students even after graduation; read our tips on scholarship scams.
Employment Scams - In 2018, employment scams were the #1 culprit for scams attacking 18-25 year olds. Job offerings can be sent directly to school emails, promising flexible hours and a beyond expected pay. Don't send your social security number electronically without knowing exactly to whom you are sending it. For more information on employment scams, visit BBB's Tips: Employment Scams.
Awareness of Current Scams - As tech savvy as current college students can be, a surprising number of scams reported to BBB's ScamTracker are from students who learned their lesson too late. Use BBB's ScamTracker to learn of the latest scam trends and read local reports of specific incidents. You can also call BBB at 651-699-1111 you want a second opinion on whether something is a scam.