Everyone gets excited about their college admission. The period of preparation is usually hectic, and there are several things to do in a very short period of time. Unfortunately, there are a lot of students’ scam nowadays. Certain individuals or groups of individuals are always looking for ways to scam students out of valuable information and even money.
Their mode of operation differs based on the way they think they can convince you. They could offer you a chance to “benefit from a huge opportunity.” Or sometimes, they might scare you until you give them what they want.
No matter how they approach you, all they do is simply take advantage of your emotions and manipulate you to do what they want.
The good thing is that there are signs for you to identify scams and scammers. Once you can identify them, avoiding them is a lot easier. So in this article, we will see how to identify and avoid five common scams students fall into.
Fictional Apartment Listings
This is the number one scam that students tend to fall for. Many international students come into Canada where they get college admissions without arranging for a flat. After a while, they could become quite desperate.
There are several cyber criminals who invest time and effort into trying to take advantage of these unsuspecting students. They post fake listings of ideal apartments. However, the “landlord” will refuse to disclose the address but instead will offer to secure the place for you if you wire a deposit.
Never fall victim to this type of scam. Learn how to do your own research to find the perfect apartment for yourself to stay in. There are a number of verified websites that offer apartment listings. These websites will provide all the information you need, including contact information and addresses.
Scholarship and Financial Aid
College fees are expensive, especially for students coming from other countries, so it is normal for anyone to be excited about getting a scholarship to cover part or all of the tuition fees. However, scammers know this too, and therefore they exploit how eager you are to get a scholarship.
They will post an ad for a fake scholarship with a large sum of money. These kinds of ads are attractive, so when you apply they will ask for an application fee. Immediately after they collect the money from you, you will be unable to reach them again.
There are instances of students falling victim to fake job advertisements. This type of scam is carried out in different ways. Some are carried out, like the scholarship scams. In the same manner, they post these fake ads and when students apply, they ask for a fee to process their application.
Another set of scammers ask for completed application forms, which will contain all your personal and banking information. With these details in their hands, they could steal your identity.
To avoid this scam, be suspicious of any job offer that wants you to start immediately without any interview or internship period. Also pay attention to little details like the email address and grammatical mistakes. Companies in Canada will not ask you to pay before you start working for them.
It is impossible not to react immediately if you receive a message that tells you that your tuition fee payment is late. In order to act on your fear, there is usually a link in the email provided for you to send your tuition or update payment information. Sometimes, the scammer may give you a “discount” if you use a certain platform for payment.
All their ploys are just ways to obtain your banking details or credit card information. Once they have this information, they can continue to steal any money that comes into your account.
To avoid this type of scam, only pay your tuition fees through payment platforms that are authorized by the school. If you have a balance to pay, you can reach out to the bursar or cashier to find out how you can make such payments. Also, do not use any third-party apps to pay your tuition fees. Always use the school portal or their official payment platform.
Tickets to the biggest college events are usually hard to get. Taking advantage of this, some scammers create fake ticket websites to scam students, while others pretend to be ticket agents.
While this scam might cost you a very small amount, getting outsmarted can be very annoying. Also, you must have made plans in your head about meeting people and making new friends, only to be told that your ticket is fake.
You will usually find several spelling mistakes on the tickets that they are using for the scam. In order to scam as many people as they possibly can, the fake tickets are photocopied. Before you pay for event tickets, use Google as an additional confirmation method. There, you will find further information, including the venue and how to get tickets.
How to Stay Safe from Scammers
Now that you know the most common student scams pulled off by scammers, then it is a lot easier to identify fraudsters and their schemes. To further prevent yourself from falling into these kinds of scams, you can follow these tips.
Always remain skeptical.
The major way in which scammers get through to their victims is by making offers that are too good to be true. When you receive such an offer, always ask questions and conduct research before making a decision.
Never share your information.
Do not share your banking details with anybody, whether physically or online. Any sudden opportunity that comes up that requires your college ID details, bank details, or payment app username is very likely to be a scam.
Use verifiable sources to get information.
At Stuuli, new job openings are posted frequently. You also get access to apartment listings, scholarship opportunities, and students’ events. On our platform, we do not require personal information or banking details, and all the openings listed have verified links where they can be confirmed.
If you think that a scammer has approached you, report the incident immediately to the local authorities at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). You can report to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre via their website or on 1-888-485-8501. Also, reach out to your bank and your college so that other students can be made aware of the incident. Be sure to provide details of how you were approached so that others can know the manner in which they operate.