September 19, 2017
 
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Donít Let Scammers Steal Your Money

Tips for College Bound Students


As all high school students and parents know, funding a college education is expensive and finding the money can be a daunting process. According to the Better Business Bureau, consumer complaints against scholarship, as well as, loan and grant services increased 60% in 2006, so just think of much that percentage has risen by now. When you begin your college planning, it’s important to be aware that there may be some dishonest businesses and scam artists ready and waiting to take advantage of overwhelmed parents and eager students. Here are two such scams recently reported the BBB:

 

·         Financial Aid Seminar Scams—Parents have reported that their student received email from College Money Matters to attend a free financial aid seminar. Then, students were told the company would submit their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form and find scholarships or grants for them. Students and parents lost anywhere between $700 and $1,000 and never heard from the company again. In addition, the FAFSA forms were never submitted.

·         College Grant Scams—Consumers have received email and letters stating that they qualify for “free grant money” as financial aid for debt relief or to help pay off college bills, but when victims received the grant in a check, they, and the bank, later discovered the checks were counterfeit. 


Avoiding the Scams
Be suspicious if you hear these “sales” lines:

“The scholarship is guaranteed or your money back." Scholarships or grants can never be guaranteed.

“You have been selected by a national foundation to receive a scholarship.” These types of claims are highly unlikely.

“The scholarship will cost some money.” Legitimate scholarships never require payment of any kind.

“May I have your credit card or bank account number to hold this scholarship?” This is never a requirement for a legitimate scholarship offer.

“You cannot get this information anywhere else.”  Scholarship and grant information is widely available in books, from libraries and financial aid offices and on the Internet.

“We will do all the work.” How could they possibly do all the work? Only parents and students can provide the financial information necessary to complete the forms.

Go to
www.ed.gov for more information on grants or www.collegeboard.com for scholarship options. Being an informed parent and student can help you save money and get through college.

 

 

 

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