Scammers target college students as fall semester begins

Scammers target college students as fall semester begins

(WCSC) - As thousands of college students start a new semester on campus, they need to be aware of common scams targeting them.

According to the Better Business Bureau, 41% of students report losing money when they encounter a scam artist compared to only 28% of non-students. College students, on their own for the first time and in charge of their own money, can become a target if they’re in need of extra cash.

“They think they know it all but they’re not quite there yet,” Chris Hadley of the Better Business Bureau said. “They grew up in a digital world and they’re learning that sometimes you need to put your hands on things to make sure it’s for real. Not everything out there on the internet is true as you know.”

The Better Business Bureau is highlighting the top scams students need to watch for as the new semester begins.

  • Employment scams - These are now the number one scam targeting 18 to 25 year olds. Scammers may use a fake job listings to steal personal information through the application process. Students may also get a fake payroll check from a fraudulent account.
  • Rental Scams - Students looking for a cheap apartment could become victims of rental scams. Apartments or homes may be listed online for lower than normal prices. A scam artist will try to get a deposit and first month’s rent before you see the rental unit. These fake listings are typically too good to be true.
  • Student Loan, Grant or scholarship scams - Students may get calls or emails with guarantees of lower payments or the promise of free grant money. You should never pay money for a grant or to save money on a loan consolidation.

The BBB has other advice for college students to avoid scams while they’re away from home. You can find that information here. You can also use the BBB’s Scamtracker to see what scams are popping up in your area.

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