Target 2 Consumer Alert: Scammers see opportunity in college students
Scammers see back-to-college time as an opportunity.
41 percent of students reported losing money to scams. That's compared to 28 percent of non-students who reported losses to scams.
The most common scam preys on people with student loans. Students receive fake calls or emails with offers to lower the interest rate.
Some of the scams tell students they have money coming to them from a government grant. Contact your school's financial aid office to make sure it's a legitimate offer.
for advice on avoiding a loan, scholarship or grant scam.
College students should also look out for employment scams. In 2018, employment scams topped the BBB list for 18-to-25-year-olds. The phony offers are sent directly to a student's official school email account. They're too good to be true--promising flexible hours and good pay. This is all just a phishing scam to get your social security number.
College students looking for places to rent off campus should be alert for fake apartment or house listings. Some scammers hijack real rental listings and ask for a payment up front. Students should make sure they see the apartment or house in person before handing over money. Watch out for phony roommate listings on Craigslist.
The bottom line: if you are at all suspicious about an offer, do your research. Search the name of the company, phone number and word "scam" to see if there are online posts or alerts about them.
Stay informed. Use the BBB Scam Tracker to see the reported scams in your city: