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Scholarship scams targeting college students and borrowers

Protecting your wallet and information
college students
Posted at 6:47 AM, Sep 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-09 09:50:51-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — It’s an old scam making new rounds, Sean Heardrick with the Better Business Bureau says you should be aware of fake scholarship applications and fees.

The financial struggles of the pandemic are making victims more vulnerable.

"We’re seeing scammers come out and offer scholarships and loans to students that aren’t real. They look fantastic but when they go to apply, they’re only trying to get your information. Students have a hard time paying tuition and college is expensive these days,” Heardrick said.

According to educationdata.org, nearly 43 million Americans owe at least $36,000 in federal loans, making the option of scholarship and loan forgiveness programs so attractive. Scammers reach out to victims by email and phone.

“They’re normally in it for the quick hit so you have to be really cautious when someone calls you out of the blue and say hey, we can get rid of your debt,” Heardrick said.

Another key to staying safe is to get your scholarship information from reliable sources.

"Always ask your guidance counselor or financial aid office, they have experience with getting money for students and helping them pay for school,” Heardrick said.

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