Student Loans

Grad Season Scams Target Parents and Students

NBC 7 Responds looked at the four most common scams for grad season.

NBC Universal, Inc.

Graduation is a big step for students, but that can also bring a lot of stress. When people get worried, scammers try and take advantage of that pressure.

"They're trying to take advantage of this new transition in the lives of all the graduates," said Viridiana Quintana with the Better Business Bureau.

The BBB warns that there are four popular scams that target recent grads and their families, starting with one of the biggest issues: student loans.

"A scammer may contact a recent grad saying they know you have some school loans," said Quintana. "They might say you potentially qualify for a loan forgiveness program."

If you get a call, email or text about one of these programs, don't respond. Instead do your own research and contact the financial institution in charge of your loan. They should be able to tell you if the program is fake.

Next, watch out for unpaid tuition scams, which target both grads and their families.

"Scammers may contact a recent grad or their parent," said Quintana. "They'll say there's unpaid tuition and in order to receive a degree you need to immediately make a payment."

Finally, watch out for both fake jobs or fake rental scams. Quintana says you should do your own research on any job offers or housing.

"This is where scammers want to take advantage of that 'inexperience,'" said Quintana. "We just want to warn our recent grads to be as careful as possible."

The BBB also says you should never give out personal information to someone who calls you out of the blue. It's better to ask them what company or organization they work for, then contact that group directly.

And if you've fallen for a scam, make sure you report it to your local police as soon as possible. Then you should contact your bank and credit card company to be on the lookout for fraudulent charges.

You can also freeze your credit to prevent someone from opening accounts in your name.

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