8 Scams Targeting College Students and How to Protect Yourself
- Many scams target college students, and these have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- College students can protect themselves from scams by keeping their information private.
- Scams include loan scams, credit card scams, employment scams, and social media scams.
- Protect yourself from college student scams by researching people/companies before engaging.
When searching for scholarship opportunities, check that a website is credible. Fraudulent scholarship websites are sometimes set up to collect personal details for future scams. Also, be wary of giving out your bank account information — scammers may attempt to contact you to award nonexistent scholarships.
Some employment scams targeting college students try to access your bank information. If any job asks for an upfront payment or personal information, don't give it to them. You should never need to pay for employment.
Scammers may also use false promises to pay down student loan debt and lower your monthly payments. As enticing as it sounds, anyone who offers you instant loan forgiveness is running a scam.
Other credit card scams involve real credit cards, but the credit cards are misrepresented. Avoid falling for misleading credit card offers that actually have unfavorable fees, terms, and/or interest rates.
Along with hacking an existing public Wi-Fi network, scammers may create their own fake hot spots. These fake hot spots often have believable names, leading potential victims to believe the hot spot is the actual Wi-Fi of the establishment.
Beware of scammers who set up fake personal profiles and business pages on social media. A fake personal profile may add or follow you with the goal of phishing for personal information. Profiles tend to be realistic, and you might even have mutual friends.
Likewise, fake business pages may sell nonexistent products or collect your email address for future scams or identity theft.
- Don't give out personal or financial information to unknown individuals.
- Research businesses and companies before providing personal information, applying for jobs, or making housing payments.
- Don't access private accounts or information on public Wi-Fi.
- Make sure your online accounts are private, including your social media accounts.
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