Last Fall, I warned you about scams involving the SAT and PSAT exams administered by the College Board. Fall is a time of the year when high school students who are anticipating attending college in the future will take the PSAT test and later the SAT test. The PSAT test is generally taken by high school students in their sophomore or junior year and while the scores are not sent to colleges, the scores are used to determine eligibility for National Merit Scholarships. SAT tests are used by most colleges as a part of the application process. PSAT tests are administered in October and the SAT tests are given seven times during the year including October, November and December. The next date for the SAT exam is March 9th, but the deadline for registering for the exam is February 8th which is only a month away. Many families are reporting being contacted by phone or email by someone purporting to be employed by The College Board which administers the PSAT and SAT exams. These scammers, posing as College Board employees ask for credit card numbers in order to send PSAT and SAT prep materials that they say the student had requested. The call or email appears more legitimate because the scammers already have the student’s name, address and phone number, however, the call or email is a scam.

TIPS

An easy way to recognize if the phone call or email is a scam is to merely know that the College Board never asks for credit card information, bank account information or password information over the phone or through an email. Anytime you get a call purporting to be from the College Board asking for any of this information, you can be confident that it is a scam. The College Board will only call students and their families in response to student-generated inquiries or to provide students and their families with information about tests for which the student is registered.

There are a number of legitimate companies that do offer PSAT and SAT prep materials, however, there are also are scammers offering to sell you worthless materials. If you are considering using a PSAT or SAT test prep service, research the company before sending any money. You also can inquire of your child’s school’s guidance counselor as to what are good companies for test prep.

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