Scammers target college students with fake housing and credit cards

ByJeff Ehling KTRK logo
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
College freshmen being warned about housing scam
Cheap housing offers tend to catch college students off guard due to inexperience, according to the BBB. Here's what else we found and how you can protect your money.

Even though kids are already off to college, you'll still want to give them a heads up on some potential scams targeting college freshmen.

College students are more likely to suffer a financial loss due to scams according to the Better Business Bureau.

First, the BBB warns students to be wary of apartments that are priced too low to be true.

Your students may think they are saving money, but the BBB says scammers are using websites with affordable offers to get financial information from unsuspecting students, or getting them to transfer deposits.

Don't hand over any money or information until the student has walked through the apartment first.

Another tactic scammers have been using is fake jobs.

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The BBB says job scams are the number one culprit for scams targeting 18-25 year olds.

These fake jobs ask you to pay up front for the work, which is a huge red flag to tell your kids about.

And another big one to watch out for is fake credit card offers.

"If they are offering ridiculously low interest rates, it could be a scammer, and they want you to instead pay an upfront charge to get the credit card, so watch out for that," Leah Napoliello with Houston BBB said. "And you also want to watch out if it is someone out of the blue saying they have this credit card for you."

And while they are legitimate, those college branded credit cards seen on many campuses can get students into big problems if they can't pay back the money.

Finally, the BBB warns students to be wary of phone calls from companies guaranteeing they can help reduce loan payments or set you up with a grant. You should never have to pay in order to receive a grant.

Students can search the company's name online to look for scam alerts or negative reviews.

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