College students be wary of scams this semester
As the fall semester approaches, move in day is happening for college students across the nation. Tuition payments and school supplies are expected, however the Better Business Bureau (BBB) in Wisconsin wants students and parents to be on the look out for scammers trying to take this opportunity to steal some of that money.
Whether you are starting school away from home or going to a local school, there are financial scams that you should be wary of.
Fake credit cards – The BBB says some credit card offers may be too good to be true. Although tempting, some deals could be phony offers designed to access personal information. The BBB says to research the offers from the credit card flyers and the banking institutions before applying. Review the BBB tip on credit card scams.
Apartment Hunting – It’s hard not to jump on a convenient apartment so close to campus, especially if it advertises affordable rent. The BBB says it may be tempting to hand over credit card information to lock in a great spot, but it’s always worth seeing the apartment in person before a money transfer. This also applies to Craigslist and social media ads appearing to be from other students looking for roommates. Read more about rental scams.
ID theft – It’s a good idea to start practicing healthy money habits, and one such habit is regularly checking your credit report for unusual activity and possible ID fraud. The official government website to do this for free is annualcreditreport.com.
Scholarship and grant scams – Be wary of phone calls from companies guaranteeing they can help reduce loan payments or offer a hefty grant. The BBB says searching for the company online could bring up scam alerts or negative reviews from other consumers. They suggest reading the reviews and complaints about the company at BBB.org and contact the 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.
Online shopping scams – Online purchase scams can be especially effective when set up through social media platforms and apps. The BBB suggests going to the business to find the item you are looking for, and order directly from the company.
The Better Business Bureau has additional tips for students to stay up on the latest scam trends.