4 Popular Scams Targeting College Students
Here are the most popular scams you as a college student should be watchful for:
Scholarship and financial aid scams
The process of finding scholarship opportunities can be confusing at times. Scammers take advantage of this when targeting victims. You should be careful of “free scholarships” that require you to pay a certain amount of money to process your documents—some of these fake scholarships set up their websites for gathering data for future scams. In addition, you should avoid providing your bank details to websites you aren’t familiar with. Instead, you can research whether the website and the scholarship body are real.
Also, you should create a spreadsheet of all scholarships you have applied for. This will help you to easily spot scams that claim you won a scholarship you didn’t even apply for. Scholarships are pretty important if you’re looking to further your education in college. Finally, to improve your chances of getting into college, you should learn how to write quality college application essays.
Student loans relief scams
While it’s true that some governments around the world offer legitimate student loan relief schemes, they usually don’t charge anything for processing the paperwork. This is especially true in the U.S.
Suppose you receive a call requesting you make a credit card payment to facilitate the processing of your loan forgiveness paperwork or asking for your personal information. In that case, you should immediately end the call and reach out to the student loan body. You should be able to find their contact details on their website. You can call them or write them an email. In the U.S., the federal government operates the student loan website, so it’s best to restrict communications to it only. Students deal with all kinds of issues, both money-related and academic. If you’re having trouble writing essays, you might want to consider WritingUniverse — when you work with them, you’re assured of quality writing. Plus, any data you enter into their website or otherwise share is securely processed and never disclosed, so you don’t have to worry about any scams.
Students looking for part-time work might be especially vulnerable to these types of scams. At times, the scammers may ask for an upfront payment to process your job application. They might also ask for personal information like bank details. If a job posting offers compensation that seems too good to be true, you should take time out to do more research.
Social media scams
These types of scams are becoming increasingly popular among college students. While some scams might be easy to spot, like the ads that promise you are just one step away from winning an iPhone, some can be difficult. For example, some hackers and online fraudsters set up fake profiles online and send friend requests. These profiles might even share mutual friends with you. The hackers usually use this method to gather as much personal data on you as possible. With the data they gather, they might decide to steal your identity or launch a personalized scam on you.
You can protect yourself by making sure your profile doesn’t contain too much personal information. Also, you should vet any account that sends you a friend request before accepting, even if you share mutual contacts.
The internet contains both the good and the bad. Successfully navigating it requires a level of understanding of the potential threats and how to protect yourself. By applying the tips included in this article, you should have a better chance of being safe from online theft.
Eric Wyatt is a cybersecurity expert and years of experience in the industry. Eric also enjoys writing, and he loves it when these two areas of his interest cross paths. When he isn’t writing or coding, he writes articles for educational purposes. His interests also include hiking and camping.