As college students across the country settle in for the fall semester, they may find themselves prime targets for scammers seeking to capitalize on the busy academic season, online as well as over the phone.
Such scams may be harder to spot alongside legitimate fundraisers and other efforts that genuinely seek to assist students and their parents. As described by ABC News affiliate WTVD of Raleigh, N.C. - home of NC State - college students are "the perfect target." Top student scams include scholarship, tech support, and roommate and rental scams, according to the North Carolina Better Business Bureau.
Campus scammers aren't just using cold calls or robocalls to hijack personal information; they're also sending deceptive e-mails and text messages that appear to be official. A recent article in USA TODAY also highlights such campus scams and how to recognize them. Other common scams include fake scholarship offers, USA Today reports.
Things to keep in mind:
- You are not required to make loan payments over the phone.
- Student scams are not limited to the start of the school year; be mindful of scams year-round.
- Never provide personally identifiable information over the phone, including Social Security numbers, bank account and routing numbers, and credit and debit card numbers.
- Be sure to keep any student loan information guarded, as scammers tend to target students with loans.
- Monitor your financial records and bank account information closely and often.
For more information on how to avoid phone scams and other unwanted calls or texts, visit www.fcc.gov/robocalls.
File a complaint with the FCC
At the FCC, we often hear first-hand about phone scams through complaints consumers file with us. You can file complaints with the FCC about unwanted calls and spoofing, along with telecom billing, service issues and other matters the FCC oversees. Information about the FCC's informal complaint process, including how to file a complaint, and what happens after a complaint is filed, is available in the FCC Complaint Center FAQ.