“To sweeten the deal, the scammer tells them they don’t have to pay it back,” Guile said. “However, the only way the money can be claimed is if the student agrees to cover a processing fee or some other fine that is typically not associated with a grant.”
The third scam involves scholarship applications. College expenses increase each year and students are looking for the best possible way to manage costs.
“Unfortunately, scammers have found a way to create fraudulent forms, websites, and marketing materials making claims to have ways to finance the cost of higher education at minimal or no cost,” Guile said.
These schemes encourage applicants to send money upfront for the scholarship but provide little to nothing in exchange, she said.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is warning students about such scams.
“People of all ages can be targeted by scams. For a student with limited income, losing money to a con artist can be devastating,” DeWine said.
Miami University police recently alerted students to a scam involving telephone calls that attempted to get students to send money, according to Ritter Hoy, a media relations representative for the Butler County university.
The caller stated they were either a police officer or a department of taxation worker and would tell students they owed “student taxes” and if they didn’t send the money, a warrant would be issued for the student’s arrest.
This was completely not true, Hoy said, and students were advised to simply hang up the phone.
Haley Webb, 19, a student at Miami University, said she takes extra precautions to protect her identity.
“I had a notice on my computer that it had a virus and the notice looked authentic like it was from Apple,” Webb said. “I had clicked on it, but then called Apple and realized the notice was a scam. I’m just really careful now about my personal information and how I navigate online.”