Be on the Lookout for Financial Aid Scams

 During this season, many students are in the process of securing financial aid for the upcoming semester or academic year. While scholarships, grants, work-study, and loans help make college more affordable, scammers are taking this opportunity to try to steal some of that money through various schemes and scams. Better Business Bureau of North Alabama recommends caution when applying for financial aid opportunities.

Using words like “national” and “federal” to sound more official, scammers typically pose as a financial aid representative from the government, a university, or a nonprofit organization. They claim you have won a scholarship or grant without ever applying and ask for payment of a one-time processing fee.

In another scenario, the scammer pressures you into applying for a guaranteed scholarship or grant. However, there is a fee to apply. You pay up, but never receive the promised money, and the company has set so many conditions that it is almost always impossible to get a refund.

If you are in the market for financial aid for college, keep an eye out for the following red flags: