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Warning Signs

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The Federal Trade Commission recommends that school officials, parents, and students stay alert to several warning signs for scholarship scams:

  • Guarantees that a student has won a scholarship or grant.
  • Pledges that this scholarship information isn't available anywhere else.
  • Requests for credit card or bank account numbers so that the scholarship may be held for the student.
  • Promises that the service will do all the application work.
  • Requests for payment, often explained as a processing fee, before the scholarship is given.
  • Announcements that "you've been selected by a National Foundation for a scholarship" or that "you're a finalist" in a contest the student never entered.

The FTC provides additional information on spotting such scams on its World Wide Web page at: Or call the National Fraud Information Center at (800) 876-7060.

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