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: http:www.ftc.gov. Or call the National Fraud Information Center at (800) 876-7060.