How to Recognize Scholarship Scams

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Scholarships were created to help ease some burden for students in college or planning to enroll in college.  Attending college can be costly and students are seeking ways to lessen their bills.  With so many scholarships being offered to students today, there are still those scholarships that students need to watch out for.  Scholarship scams are out there to get personal information and even collect money from the students.

Fraudulent scholarship providers provide fake websites to draw students to apply for their scholarship.  They look for ways to make their scholarship look so good that it is hard to believe or simply too easy to apply to, and in return get many students to apply to get the information they need.  Scholarships that seem to be too divine just might not be as good as they seem.  Scholarships were created to help students get free money and not to get money from the students.  If a scholarship requires students to pay a fee upfront, it is a scam.  There are also other unnecessary fees that students are asked to pay, however when it comes to scholarships, students should not be paying anything.  Scammers often promise to refund the money, but that is never the case.

These type of scams usually guarantee students that they will win the scholarship.  Since nothing is guaranteed nowadays, neither can scholarships be.  Almost all legitimate scholarships have a list of previous winners, while scholarship scams do not or they either have testimonials that are way out of the ordinary.  How about those pop-up ads that say “You were selected as the winner of our $5,000 scholarship.”  They will ask the students to pay a processing fee in order to acquire that money.  Students will eventually realize that they never applied for that “scholarship” and that the scammers are just after their possessions.

When it comes to scholarship scams, the worst thing that can happen is that they get access to student’s personal information.  When applications ask for a social security number, it is a good sign that they are a scam and that they are after information that scholarship providers do not need.  Students should not give such information under any circumstances, as well as their credit card or financial account information.  Once scammers get the information they need they will get access to everything that they own and more.

Unfortunately, students that apply to such scholarships will never be entered into a drawing nor get to see the money that they were guaranteed to get.  These type of scams are happening daily and it is costing people a lot of money.  Most importantly, students need to take extra precautions when applying for scholarships.  There are many ways to find legitimate scholarships online.  Most of the scholarship search engines offer legitimate scholarships and in return give students access to getting free money towards their higher education.


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