Tags: Don't | Get | Slammed | Scholarship | Scam

Don't Get Slammed by a Scholarship Scam

Friday, 06 May 2005 12:00 AM

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), fraudulent firms purport to guarantee or promise generous scholarships, grants and mind-boggling financial aid packages. Many of these fiscal thugs, in fact, use persistent "high pressure" sales pitches at seminars where anxious parents and students are requested to pay immediately or risk losing out on these fake sources of college funds.

A common tactic of these unscrupulous companies is to "guarantee" that they can get scholarships for students in exchange for an advance fee. To lend an aura of credibility to their conniving sales pitches, many of these phony scholarship firms offer a "money-back guarantee." The only problem is that these companies attach so many conditions to that offer, they make it virtually impossible to ever receive a refund.

Other appalling tactics used by these scam artists include telling students that they have been selected as "finalists" for awards that require up-front fees. Sometimes companies ask for a parent's or student's bank account information to ultimately debit the account without the account holder's permission. And, believe it or not, some firms offer absolutely nothing – not even a list of potential scholarship sources – after taking a student's hard-earned money.

What are the "red flags" of a possible scholarship or financial aid scam?

The FTC offers these telltale cautions:

In addition, if you attend a seminar on obtaining scholarships and financial aid, the FTC suggests:

It is important to note that there are many legitimate firms in the scholarship and financial aid business. These authentic companies sometimes advertise that they can get students lists of scholarships in exchange for an advance fee. Other genuine firms charge an advance fee to compare a student's profile to a database of scholarship and financial aid opportunities. Also, there are Internet scholarship search engines that may charge a fee.

The difference between these honest companies and fraudulent scholarship enterprises is simple: Legitimate companies NEVER guarantee or promise scholarships or grants!

For more information on this crucial topic for all college students and their parents, check with the FTC's Web site at www.ftc.gov and the College Parents of America's site at www.collegeparents.org.

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that people with a bachelor's degree earn over 60 percent more on average than someone with only a high school diploma, which can translate to an extra lifetime earnings of over $1 million. It is well worth the time to research and locate the billions and billions of dollars in legitimate college scholarships, grants and other financial aid that is available to virtually all Americans.

(Note: If you manufacture or distribute any Security, Safety, Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Defense or Crime Prevention related products, please send information on your product line for possible future reference in this column to: CrimePrevention123@yahoo.com.)

Copyright 2005 by Bruce Mandelblit

"Staying Safe" with Bruce Mandelblit is a regular column for the readers of NewsMax.com and NewsMax.com Magazine.

Bruce welcomes your thoughts. His e-mail address is: CrimePrevention123@yahoo.com.

Bruce is a nationally known security journalist, as well as a recently retired, highly decorated reserve Law Enforcement Officer.

Bruce writes Staying Safe, a weekly syndicated column covering the topics of security, safety and crime prevention. Bruce was commissioned as a Kentucky Colonel – the state's highest honor – for his public service.

This column is provided for general information purposes only. Please check with your local law enforcement agency and legal professional for information specific to you and your jurisdiction.

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According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), fraudulent firms purport to guarantee or promise generous scholarships, grants and mind-boggling financial aid packages.Many of these fiscal thugs, in fact, use persistent "high pressure" sales pitches at seminars where...
Don't,Get,Slammed,Scholarship,Scam
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2005-00-06
Friday, 06 May 2005 12:00 AM
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