4 of the Most Popular Scams College Students Should Know
1. Financial aid scams
Getting an education can be very expensive, so many students choose to apply for scholarships and other financial aid. Scammers are aware of this and often phone students claiming to represent the awarding body of a particular scholarship scheme.
They might ask for your bank information, which might seem like a normal thing; however, they often store that information for future scams. They might also request a sum of money under the pretense they need to process your document.
To avoid these types of scams, you might want to prepare a list of scholarships you have applied to as well as their contact details—that way, you might be able to notice when you’re getting a scam call for a scholarship you didn’t apply for, or when the scammer is contacting you with a different option from the contact details list.
2. Hacked WIFI networks
College students can often spend a lot of time on public WIFI networks, but this can be quite dangerous. Many cyber security tips for college students agree that If the public network you’re connected to isn’t encrypted, a hacker can easily intercept data that is moving through the network. This can be particularly dangerous if you log on to your social media or make online transactions while connected to a compromised WIFI network.
To avoid falling for these types of scams, only connect to WIFI networks you’re familiar with and avoid unknown networks despite the free data you might be able to get. Make sure to install the latest antivirus to help encrypt your data and warn you when there’s a breach. When connected to a public WIFI network, you might want to avoid doing anything online that involves entering your ATM pin or passwords, even if it's authentic.
3. Employment scams
Like financial aid scams, college students are particularly vulnerable to employment scams as they are often applying to numerous companies to improve their chances of securing a job—many students often look for the best paper writing services review to connect them with professional writers to draft their job application essays.
In this type of scam, the fraudster might request payment to process your documents or for your personal information. To protect yourself, you might want to be skeptical of job offers to promise very high wages for someone of your level of expertise and avoid making any payments whatsoever, as a legit company should handle any such expense.
4. Social media scams
Social media is quite popular among college students, and as a result, many scammers are lurking about. Some popular scams involve receiving a friend request from someone you don’t know. They might end up asking personal questions to use the information for fraudulent activities. To protect yourself, you might want to consider making your social media accounts private and only accept requests from people you know.
College is a great time to learn about the world and expand your thinking. However, it is also a very vulnerable stage of our lives, so it’s important we take precautions to ensure our safety. While the scams covered in this article are dangerous, there are many more, so always be alert.
Eric Wyatt is a freelance writer and cybersecurity enthusiast. He researches the latest fraud techniques then writes articles focused on teaching people how to avoid them. Eric is also an avid gamer and enjoys hanging out with friends.