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Beware of SAT prep scams

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(BBB) ​​- For parents of high school students, SAT scores are huge. With online admissions and scholarships, paying for tutors and test preparation materials can be worth the price. But beware of crooks eager to take advantage of it.

Scammers with access to children’s names and school information trick parents into paying for fake SAT prep materials.

How the scam works

You receive an unsolicited call from someone claiming to be from board of directors, the company responsible for the SAT tests or another educational organization. The caller claims to confirm your address. It can therefore send test preparation materials, such as books, CDs, or videos, that your child has requested from school.

It sounds so believable! Several victims reported to BBB Scam Tracker that the caller even had his child’s name, phone number and / or school information.

Of course, there is a catch. The caller needs you to post a deposit, sometimes several hundred dollars, for the materials. They claim it will be refunded when the materials are returned. Unfortunately, if you provide your address and credit card details, the material will never arrive and your deposit will never be refunded. Scammers now have your credit card number and other personal information. So how do you avoid test prep scams?

  • Always beware of unsolicited callers.If someone calls unexpectedly, always research their organization before sharing personal information or agreeing to receive services or products. Find the company they claim to represent on BBB.org. Look up the name with the words scam or complaint to find out if other consumers have had negative experiences. CheckBBB Scam Track to see if anyone else has filed a report on the company.
  • Check with your child.If scammers say they are calling because of a service your child requested, tell them you need to check with your child and hang up. Make sure their complaints are legitimate before you call back or accept a return call. The same istrue for emergency scams.
  • Understand the practices of school boards.The College Board will never ask you for banking or credit card information over the phone or email. If a caller suggests otherwise, hang up. Learnlearn more about school board policies.
  • Use your credit card when possible.Credit cards can refund your money if they detect a fraudulent charge or if you report one in a timely manner. You may not have the same protection if you pay with your debit card or other payment options. Never agree to pay a stranger with a wire transfer, prepaid cards ordigital wallet, like Cash App or Venmo.

Source: BBB.org

For more information

To learn more about how to protect yourself, read impostor scams. Also Federal Trade Commissions Alert about the preparation tests against.

To find a company you can trust, visit BBB.org. To report a scam, go to BBB.org/ScamTracker.

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