BBB warns against scams targeting college students

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) – The first year of college brings new challenges and opportunities. College opens doors for you that may be life changing, but it may also open the door to scammers that want to take advantage of you.

Better Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina (BBB) warns college students to be aware of scams targeting unsuspecting young adults.

“Being by themselves for the first time makes college students susceptible to scammers,” said Mallory Wojciechowski, president and CEO of BBB serving Eastern NC. “It is important for students to be aware that scammers are out there and that they are willing to do anything they can to try and steal money or personal information.”

Better Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina warns against the following scams which target college students:

Roommate/Rental scheme – If you post an ad for a roommate on a classified site, such as 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. You are asked to cash it and wire back the rest. This is a scam!

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 at

Scholarship/Grants – Exercise caution when using scholarship-finding services that “guarantee” grants or scholarships. They often sell lists to students of potential scholarship or grant opportunities. However, nearly all available financial aid comes from the federal government or individual colleges. Visit for more information.

Online Shopping Deals – You see a much-wanted item for a steep discount online. One you could not usually afford. The catch? The site asks you to wire payment to them instead of using a credit card – a huge red flag. Once the money is sent, the item is never received.

Cheating Supplies – Students can often find term papers, as well as test questions and answers online, but universities are increasingly using new software like Turnitin, fake websites, and spy cameras to track down dishonest students. Don’t cheat yourself out of learning!

Illegal Downloads – It may be tempting to save money by downloading free music, movies, or textbooks, but many contain spyware that can end up causing financial havoc.


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