Students beware: Some college loans and grants are scams

Ron Craig

        As college-bound young men and women search for loans and grants to help fund their educations, they need to be made aware that some of these financial arrangements are actually scams designed to get personal information.
        This personal information in the wrong hands can lead to empty bank accounts and ruined credit.
        Scammers have come up with authentic-looking websites and emails that are designed to hook these young women and men into thinking they are legitimate.
        Some of these scams promise “guarantees” that if the offers don’t pan out, the victims would not owe anything for applying, The problem is, scammers still have the person’s personal information they wanted to begin with.
        The victims are eager to get any financial assistance they can get, especially with tuition and other college costs so high these days. These enticements are what the scammers are hoping to lure unsuspecting students to fall for whatever the scheme is.
        Also be aware of scammers who use a tactic that leads students to believe they have won some kind of a contest. Many students fall for this, not remembering if they had actually entered the contest. Who can keep track of all the sites students visit as they desperately search for such financial aid?
        Make sure your students check out the source of any and all financial aid resources before they hit the send button. Colleges have financial aid offices that can give guidance.
        Of course, these college financial aid offices are the perfect places for students to start in their quests for assistance. This does not mean to say students should not investigate on their own, but caution is advised.
        Students should also check with their local office of the Better Business Bureau before proceeding with any agency that offers help with college financial assistance.
        This article is a public service from the Community Policing/Crime Prevention Division of the Lake Township Police Department. Township residents may obtain further information on crime prevention and public safety topics by contacting Ron Craig, crime prevention specialist/community policing officer, at 419-481-6354.


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