Top scams for college students to avoid

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (RELEASE) -- College students are often intended targets of scams. Newly independent and excited to be on their own, that freedom can make them targets of and susceptible to scams.

Students don’t always necessarily recognize when a scam comes knocking. As college students begin to head back to campus, the BBB wants to remind students and parents about preventing fraud when they’re away from home.

BBB has some information on the top scams for college students to avoid:

Roommate/Rental scheme – If you post an ad for a roommate on Craigslist, beware of “fake roommates” who are out of the country, but can provide the rent upfront in the form of a money order. When you receive it, the amount is higher than the amount requested (overpayment scam). You are asked to cash it, and wire back the rest. This is a scam!

Credit Cards – Credit card offers are all over campus. While it’s important to build credit, it’s more important to maintain good credit. Many of these cards have annual fees or charge high interest rates on purchases. Shop around for the best rate and pay off your credit card bills every month.

Employment – Beware of ads that pop up near campus offering jobs with “no experience necessary.” Often, these “opportunities” are bogus! If you are interviewed in a hotel lobby or required to sign a contract, or have to pay for everything including training, travel, lodging, food, etc. associated with the job – forget it! Check out a company first with bbb.org.

Scholarship/Grants – Scholarship-finding services “guarantee” grants or scholarships. They sell lists to students on potential scholarship or grant opportunities. However, nearly all available financial aid comes from the federal government or from individual colleges. Go to grants.gov for more information.

Safeguard your ID – Keep your personal information, including your driver’s license, student ID, debit cards, credit cards, and bank information in a SAFE place. Be wary of any online solicitations, emails, social media sites, or phone calls asking for your personal information. NEVER give out personal information to someone you don’t know.