Tips for Avoiding Financial Scams

College students can be susceptible to different financial scams & fraud. Check ADT's advice on avoiding college scams.

Learning how to manage your finances and being aware of financial scams are skills that every college student should work hard to master. In doing so, it is important for students to be able to recognize certain financial scams that specifically target college students. Learn about the following common financial scams that students should watch out for, and get tips on how you can protect your identity and finances.

Fake scholarships

College students depend on scholarships to help make their college dreams come true. While it is beneficial for students to apply for as many scholarships as they can, it is important that they are aware of the scholarship related financial scams. There are several scholarship frauds that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warns against. Students should thoroughly check scholarship sources before applying to verify that they are legitimate. Never apply for a scholarship that asks for money in return. Remember that Federal Student Aid, which is responsible for managing the student financial assistance programs authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, offers a free application for financial aid. Never pay for a Federal Student Aid application.

Diploma mills

Diploma or degree mills are colleges that offer fake degrees and diplomas in exchange for a fee. Remember that all authentic colleges should have a brick-and-mortar address. Also, check the Council for Higher Education Accreditation to ensure that any school you apply for is accredited and authentic.

Online book scams

While college students often search high and low for the best deals on textbooks, online book sites can be an easy way for scammers to get students’ credit card information. When buying anything online, be sure that you are shopping on a credible site before entering your personal and financial information.

Credit card scams

Because college students are often looking for ways to earn spending cash, credit card scammers find them to be an easy target. Oftentimes credit card companies go to college campuses to attempt to get students to fill out credit card applications. While many credit card companies who market to college students are genuine businesses, others are scammers who utilize applications to steal students’ information. Avoid being scammed by going to your local credit union or bank to get a credit card. Also, regularly check your credit card statement. If you see any charges that you do not recognize, contact your banking institution immediately.

If you see a financial scam, immediately report it to the FTC. Keep your identity and finances safe, and keep yourself knowledgeable of common college scams by following these tips.

For more on how to make sure your college experience stays fun and accident free check out our tips on spring break safety.

ADT News and Tips