While it is still early August, it is not too soon to start looking ahead to the upcoming school year for many college students and their families. Most colleges will be beginning the Fall Semester at the end of August. And just as college students and their families are taking care of all of the details that need attending to before the start of the school year, so are the scammers who increasingly prey upon college students and their families.
One of the common scams related to college students starts with a phone call from the college informing you that the student’s tuition payment is late and that the student will be dropped from classes in which he or she is enrolled unless they pay by credit card over the phone immediately.
Another common scam involves college textbooks. Textbooks are expensive and students often look online for websites that sell textbooks at great discounts. While there are numerous sources for discounted textbooks, there also are large numbers of scammers setting up websites to sell textbooks that won’t deliver anything but a life lesson when you pay for textbooks that you never receive. Sometimes these websites may even appear high on a Google or other search engine search, but this does not mean that they are legitimate. It only means that they are adept at manipulating the algorithms used by the search engines to rank websites.
Whenever you receive a telephone call, you can never be sure who is actually calling. Even if your Caller ID indicates that it indeed is your college or university, Caller ID can be tricked through a technique called spoofing to make the call appear legitimate when, in truth, it is coming from a scammer. Never provide credit card information to anyone who calls you unless you have absolutely confirmed that the call is legitimate. If you receive a call indicating that your tuition is unpaid, the better course of action is to hang up and call the college or university at a telephone number that you know is legitimate to confirm that the previous call was a scam.
As for purchasing textbooks, don’t buy textbooks or anything else online without confirming that the website is legitimate. You can check out reviews, see if there are complaints against the seller, investigate as to whether they have a physical address and otherwise make sure that they are legitimate. Finally, you should pay by credit card because if the online book seller is a scammer, you can have the charges removed from your credit card.
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