Going to college is an investment of both time and money, it is also a time in a person’s life when there is an active pursuit to find ourselves and become adults. Because college students are technically considered adults they can become the target of those trying to defraud them. Below are the most common fraud schemes that specifically target college students due to their lack of knowledge and the vulnerable time in their lives.
- The fake credit card scam – college student may feel privileged that they have been selected for a credit card, however some of the credit card offers aren’t from a legitimate credit card company but are, in fact, and fraudsters. This fraud tactic is to get the personal information of a college student in order to either sell the information or in order to apply for credit in their name.
- Student loan investment scam – with this scam, fraudsters encourage students to take out personal student loans or max out their government student loans to get money to invest in the stock market. The scammers may say something like they guarantee a return on investment that is higher than the student loan rate of interest. Student give the remaining balance of their student loan to the fraudster and the fraudster disappears or they actually take the money and invest the money in a pump and dump scheme. A pump and dump scheme is where a fraudster pumps up the name of an actual company in the stock market and when it reaches a certain price then the fraudster pulls out their money leaving other investors with a worthless investment. If this happen to a student you know, encourage them to seek asecurities lawyer.
- Advance fees scam – many students are always on the lookout for scholarships and other ways to help with college tuition. Scams will offer a student the service of finding them a student loan, scholarship, or even an internship for a service fee. The fraudsters will state something like, “satisfaction guaranteed or your money back”, and require credit card information in order to place a hold on your scholarship or internship.
- Apartment rental scam – this scam is relatively simple, the fraudsters place an online ad for an apartment and the student agrees to rent the apartment without seeing the place in person. The scammer collects the deposit and first’s month rent for a place that they do not own and the student is out of the money and has no living arrangements.
- Textbook scam – Students buy textbooks from online sources all of the time, however some of the online stores could be a front for stealing personal information. Students should purchase textbooks from a familiar online source or complete a web search in order to validate the website that they are purchasing through.
- The tuition scam – this type of scam may shock you, but fraudsters will call a college student and pretend to be from their college admission or funding department and state that their student tuition is late and if it is not paid immediately via a credit card by phone then all of the student’s classes will be dropped. The student will give the fraudster the credit card information and be out thousands of dollars.