April 12, 2012

How to Get Away From Scholarship Fraud Online

In the new virtual world we live in today, fraud is a new fear instilled into anyone who has shopped or done other types of business online. Almost every business and governmental agency has a website, and it is often preferred that you visit that site as opposed to calling in and speaking with a live person. For this reason, many potential college students are seeking scholarships online rather than calling the institution or going in to speak with financial aid specialist. While there is nothing wrong with speeding up the process, this does open up the chance to become a victim of fraud, and the ways scam artists lure you in are creative ranging from offering a free led tv to sometimes even outright lies.

Just as with many get rich quick schemes and work at home opportunities; it is also true for someone looking online for a scholarship that, if you have to pay money to obtain it, it is most likely a scam. There are multiple scams out there that will charge some type of a fee to sign up, usually minimal and seemingly insignificant. This is how they keep going; by offering such a low fee, such as five dollars, they can lure in more applicants, making them able to afford a couple of actual payouts, however, your chance of actually seeing any of that money is slim to none. Also keep in mind that legitimate fees for scholarships are usually taken out the check you receive from them, not paid up front. It is advisable to get the speak with a financial advisor before ever signing up for a scholarship that works this way.

Scam artists are good at what they do, and they can word something just right to make what they are saying legitimate, yet highly deceitful. As with the abovementioned example, they could say that they do award up to a certain dollar amount, but they may fail to mention the frequency. Always check for asterisks next to phenomenal statements, and follow up by reading the information that can normally be found corresponding to it near the bottom of the page, usually in a tiny font.

Beware of free meetings for scholarship advice and information. These types of seminars, while usually informative to a certain extent, almost always end with the speaker asking you to open up your wallet. Nothing in life is free, and, as nice as the speaker may seem, not many people are going to take time out of their day out of the goodness of their heart to help you further your education. Most likely, they are going to give you just enough information to hook you, and then charge you for further consult.

There are many clever forms of deception out there. Most are worded just right to stay within legal limits, and others are outright scams. Either way, nobody wants to get caught up in their tangled web. Good things come to those who wait, so, even though the process may take a little more time and not seem as convenient as those smelling of scam, you will avoid much heartache seeking out a legitimate scholarship opportunity.

About the author. Kathleen Hubert is a blogger who writes on a variety of different sites. Check out more of her work at ledtv.org.

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