The Federal Trade Commission reported that about 3 in 10 adults fell for a scam in 2018. They also noted that the majority of these scams happened online.
If you’re hoping to avoid becoming a part of this statistic for 2020, then you need to be aware of the most common scams. Read on to learn about common types of college scams and how to avoid them.
Common Types of College Scams
If you’re a college-aged student, then you’re a prime target for scammers. Why? They see you as both naive and vulnerable. They hope you aren’t aware of common scams, and they’re banking on the fact that you won’t report them if you do catch on.
Get a step ahead of these fraudsters by getting informed. Here are some of the common scams you need to know about:
- Tuition scams: claims that you’re behind on tuition
- Fake credit card offers
- Advance fees
- “Free WiFi”
- Housing scams
- Financial aid scams
- Scholarship scams
- Social media scams
Now that you know about common college scams, it’s time to apply that education. Learn how to avoid getting scammed below.
How to Avoid Getting Scammed
Knowing about common college scams isn’t enough. You need to know how to avoid them, too. For example, how can you tell the difference between a legitimate Honor Society and a fake one?
The best way to avoid getting scammed is to learn how to vet offers you get. First, check out the alleged company or business offering you the service.
Look them up online. Verify that their contact details match the account that contacted you. Search Google for reviews of the company. If you notice a lot of bad reviews, then you could be dealing with a scammer.
Here are a few other tips to help you avoid scams:
- Never give out your personal data unless you know the person you’re talking to is reputable
- If an offer seems too good to be true, then it likely is
- Never pay an up-front fee without vetting the business
- Do not respond to threats
Scammers often try to get you to act fast without much thought. If someone is pushing you to act, then consider why they don’t want to give you time to think about it first.
What To Do If You Fall For a College Scam
If you fall for a scam, then you’re in good company. Everyone is vulnerable to fraud. If you do fall for a college scam, then you should report the incident to the FTC. Depending on the situation, you might also want to contact the police, too.
The worst thing you could do is not act after learning about the scam. Otherwise, the fraudsters will keep attempting their scams on others.
Avoiding Fraud Now and Forever
When you’re a young adult, college scams are only one aspect of life you’ve got to learn fast. On top of that, you’ve got to navigate how to go about life on your own. Learning to avoid college scams will help you avoid fraud now and in the future.
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