Options: Avoiding Financial Aid Scams

By The FoolProof Team

One of the dangers of an online search for scholarships and financial aid is that you will inevitably run across scam artists among the reputable sites and services.

Ouch! Students Getting Stung Trying to Find $$$ for College from the FTC caution students to watch for the following red-flag statements in promotions.

Such statements signal you're looking at a scam:

  • "The scholarship is guaranteed or your money back."
    Nobody can guarantee that you'll receive a scholarship. Sites that make this claim load the fine print with so many conditions that most people never get any money back.
  • "You can't get this information anywhere else."
    False. Groups that award scholarships make their information readily available to all.
  • "May I have your credit card or bank account number to hold this scholarship."
    Never, ever give out your credit card or bank account number. This request is simply a ploy to steal money from your account at best and at worst to steal your identity to commit even greater financial theft.
  • "We'll do all the work."
    Nonsense. As the person applying for the loan, you and your family at the very least must properly complete the applications.
  • "The scholarship will cost some money."
    No real scholarship requires the recipient to pay any fees.
  • "You've been selected by a "national foundation" to receive a scholarship,"
    or
    "You're a finalist" in a contest you never entered.

    Check out such offers thoroughly to make sure the foundation or program is legitimate. Most aren't.

Done? Make sure you read some of our articles on financial scams in our Articles Section.