BBB: Scammers targeting college students

Updated: Oct. 22, 2019 at 11:27 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - When a young man or woman goes off to college, it’s often the first time they are on their own. They’re in a new place, meeting new people, and sometimes it’s easy to let down your guard. The Better Business Bureau reports that college students between the ages of 18-24 are more likely to fall for a scam than older adults. One of the most common scams targeting college students involves fake job openings.

“Many times these are not legitimate jobs," said David Smitherman with the Better Business Bureau. "They want your personal information, so they can put you on for direct deposit.”

The problem is, there is no job and you just gave your bank information to a crook. Consumer experts say if you see a flier or something on social media about a job, look up the company and do some research. Make sure the company has a valid address and phone number.

College students also need to keep a close eye on sensitive documents and paperwork. If a person gets into your dorm room or apartment, they may find enough information to steal your identity.

“Things that are valuable to a thief need to be locked up and protected. Remember in more than half of these cases, the person stealing your identity is known to you.”

The Better Business Bureau says scammers also like to get you to buy products or services. If they ask you to pay with a pre-paid money card, gift card, or wire transfer, that should be a red flag. Once that money is gone it’s almost impossible to get back.

The BBB Scam Tracker is a great place to look to see what kinds of scams are happening in your area.

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