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Students: How to spot 6 common scams

As a high school or college student, you have many responsibilities such as studying for exams, holding down a part-time job and handling at least some of your own finances. While you’re doing all this, con artists may also be trying to separate you from your cash. Cybercriminals know students often have hectic schedules and may be new to money management, making you an ideal target.

The good news? You can protect your financial and personal information by familiarizing yourself with the most prevalent scam tactics and how to spot them.

Here’s what you need to know about six of the top scams that target students.


Fake apartment listings


Bogus scholarships and grants


Unpaid tuition claims


Counterfeit check cashing


Improper employment offer schemes


Suspect sweepstakes and giveaways

Regardless of the scam you may be facing, exercising caution is the key to protecting yourself. If you do fall victim to one of these tactics, don’t be embarrassed to take action. By reporting the incident, you can help yourself and prevent others from falling for the same scam.

How to react if you suspect you’ve been targeted

Act quickly after an incident, as it can help minimize damages.

Change all passwords that may have been compromised.

Call the police and file reports with the relevant local authorities. Many state attorney general websites have detailed information on the latest scams, and online forms to file a consumer complaint.

File reports with the Federal Trade Commission and the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.

Document everything about the incident. The more information you have, the better armed you will be to assist an investigation by law enforcement officials.

Alert your bank about the scam. Although the recovery of lost funds isn’t possible in most cases, your bank may be able to use the information to warn other clients.

Close Disclaimer

The material provided on this website is for informational use only and is not intended for financial, tax or investment advice. Bank of America and/or its affiliates, and Khan Academy, assume no liability for any loss or damage resulting from one’s reliance on the material provided. Please also note that such material is not updated regularly and that some of the information may not therefore be current. Consult with your own financial professional and tax advisor when making decisions regarding your financial situation.

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