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Scholarship scams breaking students' pockets

Tips on how to avoid a scholarship scam
Posted at 10:08 PM, Aug 26, 2022

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A scholarship scam is breaking university students' pockets.

At Texas A&M Corpus Christi advisers said they're aware of it and want to put a stop to it.

Truc Ngyen is one student who uses scholarship money to pay for school and the high costs of living.

"I want to apply to as many grants and scholarships so I'm not in debt, “said Nguyen.

He is a junior at the Island University, he’s applied for dozens of scholarships during his time at TAMUCC.

"With some of the external scholarships I would have to do some research about what the organization is and find out if it's a trustworthy organization or not,” he said.

According to cyber security experts at Comparitech, scammers are trying to take advantage of unsuspecting students.

The scammers are mainly doing it through fake emails that request personal information and promise to send more details about the supposed scholarship.

They're also scamming students through fake checks.

A letter is sent to them stating they were selected for a scholarship and request personal information to receive it.

When students get the check and try to cash out, they soon learn that it isn't real.

Hannah Velazques is a senior at the Island University and said she's seen her fair share of scholarship scams.

"A lot of the scams go with no easy, no GPA, no transcripts type of scholarships because they have nothing to base it on,” she said.

Velazques encourages freshman to still seek out resources through trusted sources, like university advisors.

"I've also talked to local businesses in New Braunfels where I'm from. They're able to offer me scholarships after a little interview and application as well,” said Velazques.

Linda Buckley, the director of scholarship services at TAMUCC, is one of those resources students can reach out to.

She meets one on one with students to help them apply for scholarships.

"We match the students based off the information on their go apply Texas applications and their transcripts. So, incoming freshman are already matched up to their scholarships when they apply to the university,” said Buckley.

Comparitech gives eight helpful tips to spot a scholarship scams.

The number one thing to do is question is if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

Here’s how to avoid Scholarship scams:

  1. Question if it’s too good to be true
  2. Be wary of a sense of urgency
  3. The promise of exclusive information should be a red flag
  4. Question money-back guarantees
  5. Ignore claims of unclaimed funds
  6. Watch out for claims of affiliation with a reputable organization
  7. Learn to spot phishing emails and websites
  8. Don’t hand over personal or banking information