7 Scams Students Should Be Worried About
College students, in particular, often find themselves in precarious situations with little money and even less life experience, which can leave them vulnerable to scams and con artists.
A lot of the time, scams are very obvious, and people can spot them from a mile away. Other times, however, it’s not as easy to tell what’s an actual scam or a genuine business opportunity.
While the internet has provided college students with a lot of value in the form of paper writing services where students can order essay online as well as other helpful tools and materials, there are still many dangers on the internet.
Here are seven of the most common scams you should be on the lookout for as a student, as well as how to avoid them.
Scholarship scams are among the oldest student scams, but they’re still effective due to the skyrocketing cost of higher education. These scams aim to charge for proprietary information about scholarships or steal the victim’s identity.
With scholarship scams, scammers will notify you about winning a scholarship but will ask you for credit card information to claim your win. Sometimes, the scammers will guarantee to give your money back if you don’t receive the scholarship. But once you pay that money, you’re not getting it back.
In reality, legitimate scholarships do not require credit card numbers or bank accounts—only applications. If someone requests personal banking information, you are about to get scammed.
Most identity theft scams come from freebies on social media or fake employment offers that need your social security number when applying. Additionally, college students fail to understand the risks of giving out personal information online, especially on unreliable academic writing platforms. To protect yourself, before you use any writing service, check its trustworthiness. To get an idea of what a good service looks like, check this EssayPro review by Essay-Reviews.
The scammer may use your identity to apply for loans or government benefits in your name. In other cases, the scammer may open up new accounts to raise credit card bills or rent an apartment.
Online shopping is a hot commodity, and college students can’t get enough of it. Many sites offer college students significant discounts to encourage extra purchases, and sometimes these offers seem too good to be true. But when students pay (usually through crypto, money wire, or gift cards), the item never arrives—or they receive a cheap counterfeit.
If you’re a college student sitting at your computer, there’s a good chance someone else is watching you. On several occasions, security firms have discovered thousands of webcams worldwide that hackers compromised. By hacking your webcam, they can get information and images that can be used to blackmail you or harm your reputation.
Online auction scams have a lot of similarities with online shopping scams. The scammer may pose as a graduating college student that wants to sell off their properties at a knock-off price, but as soon as you pay, they disappear.
Alternatively, the scammer could pose as a buyer to a student who wants to sell off something, but the scammer would require the student to ship or send the item before paying. They may even send a fake receipt to force you to ship the item fast.
Loan application fraud usually involves a scammer calling and pretending to be an employee of your bank, credit union, or a similar lending institution. These criminals will ask you for personal information, like your social security number, birth date, or account number. Some scammers may even use fear tactics to trick you into giving them information by telling you that you are in trouble with the IRS for unpaid taxes or past-due loans.
Social media may be a great place to make new friends, stay in touch with old ones and have fun, but sometimes it can be a haven for malicious attacks. There are a ton of social media scams out there, but the one most college students fall for is catfishing. In this situation, social media scammers try to trick you into giving them personal information or money by pretending to be someone they’re not.
While internet scams may be a bit hard to spot, there are some steps you could take to make it harder for scammers to get you.
For example, when somebody offers you a product or service below-market rates, trust your gut and assume it’s a scam. You might miss out on the rare great deal, but you’ll also reduce your chances of getting ripped off.
Don’t share your account information with others, whether in person or online. Sharing your login information would enable them to drain your account anytime. If you come across a “golden opportunity” that requires providing your Social Security number, bank information, or even college ID information, think twice before handing over this private information.
Search for reviews online before buying items from lesser-known vendors. Before purchasing anything from a company or a seller on Facebook or Instagram, make a note of their complete contact information, and if possible, call and verify it. Don’t only rely on their email address because scammers can create and spoof emails.
Scams are a part of our daily lives, but that doesn’t mean you can’t protect yourself. You can avoid becoming a victim by being aware of common scams. Always protect your sensitive information online, and think before giving out personal information. And if an offer sounds too good to be true, walk away.