Don’t Let College Test Prep Scams Con You Out of Money

Group of high school students having test at classroom.

As the season for college admittance testing quickly approaches, so are scammers looking to take your money. The fraudsters are posing as representatives from The College Board – the organization responsible for the PSAT and SAT tests. Communication comes in the form of an email or phone call to the parent or guardian of the student, asking for credit card information to send PSAT test prep materials that the student “supposedly” requested. Often, the scammer will have the student’s name, address and phone number, making the email or call believable. What the parent or guardian is unaware of is that the student did not ask for the material and the “representative” is a con artist.

Consider the following tips from the Federal Trade Commission to avoid test prep scams:

  • The College Board will never ask you to give credit card, bank account or password information over the phone or via email.
  • Make sure the company offering test prep materials is legitimate. How? Before you give up your money or personal information, research the company online. Search for their name plus the word “scam” or “complaint.” See about other people’s experiences. Talk to someone you trust, like another parent or your child’s school counselor, before you pay.
  • Consider how you pay. Credit cards have significant fraud protection built in – meaning that, if you find out you paid a scammer, you may be able to get your money back if you report it quickly. And if anyone asks you to pay by wiring money or by using a reloadable card or gift card, it’s a scam. Just hang up.”

Source: FTC.gov 1. Source: United States Federal Trade Commission, www.ftc.gov – not subject to copyright protection. 17 U.S.C. 403.

If you would like to report a scam, call your BBB at 256-533-1640 or go to the BBB Scam Tracker. To find trustworthy businesses, visit bbb.org.