Scammers take advantage of this season of high spending by posing as test prep companies and more. Here are three things to watch out for.
1. Scholarship Scams
Whether your child is attending a private grade school or is going off to college, if you or they are applying for scholarships or any type of financial aid, it’s important to ensure that the programs are legitimate. If the company in question is asking for any type of money upfront, or credit card or bank account information, walk away—it’s probably a scam.
2. College Prep Scams
It seems like college preparatory exams are being marketed to younger and younger students every year. If your child is ready to start taking these courses or the exams themselves, ensure that the academy or test executors are the real deal. Similar to scholarship and financial aid scams, if the person contacting you is asking for any credit card or bank account information up front—either online or over the phone—don’t give it to them and continue your search.probably a scam.
3. Identity Theft Scams
During the onset of the school year, you’re filling out a lot of forms with personal information. This is a good time to check credit card reports, enroll in a credit monitoring service, or sign up for an identity theft protection program to ensure your identity hasn’t been compromised.
When in doubt, you can always check reviews of any suspicious companies online before proceeding. Use the Better Business Bureau or a review site like Yelp to see if they are who they say they are and/or if their service is recommended by others.