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  • Geebo 9:36 am on August 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: college,   

    Beware of these scams targeting college students 

    Beware of these scams targeting college students

    Back when I was in college, the only scam you really had to look out for was predatory lenders offering ‘great deals’ on credit cards. Being young at the time I did, in fact, fall for that particular scam and it ended up being a black mark on my credit report for years. Today, with so many avenues scammers have to approach college students, they have to be even more vigilant in watching out for multiple scams.

    If you have a child who’s currently getting ready to attend college you probably know about how much pressure they can feel about securing student loans or grants in order to try to secure funding for their education. As is their usual M.O., scammers always love to prey on those who are in stressful situations, especially when it comes to financial ones. The Detroit Free Press is reporting that scammers are targeting students of one Michigan college where the scammers will pose as the college financial office threatening that their classes will be dropped if they don’t pay an additional fee and that the fee must be paid over the phone then and there. Of course, the college does not accept payment over the phone.

    Other common scams appear as offers that will either reduce your student loan or claim to offer some kind of financial assistance. In many of these cases that can appear as text messages or emails, will either try to get the student’s financial information or will try to get the student to pay some kind of upfront fee. Sometimes the fee requested will be in some form of a gift card which should be a dead giveaway that it’s a scam.

    In today’s controversial world of colleges and financing, our students have enough on their plate without having to worry about scammers trying to take their money. While they may be smart, students at that age can still be impressionable. If there’s an incoming college student on your family or circle of friends, please let them know about these scams so they don’t have to keep paying for their mistake for years to come.

     
  • Geebo 10:18 am on March 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: college, marketplace app, MIjem   

    College marketplace app: Good in theory, bad in practice 

    College marketplace app: Good in theory, bad in practice

    Earlier, I came across this article from The News Record, the University of Cincinnati’s student run newspaper, about a marketplace app called Mijem that’s geared toward college students. On the surface, it sounds like a great concept by making a local marketplace between students who could potentially help each other out by selling or trading things like furniture, clothes and the always expensive textbooks. However, the reality of the app appears to be more concept than practice.

    First, I tried signing up for the app through the Google Play Store and the app kept crashing on me. I was able to sign up through their website but was then unable to sign in through the app itself. In looking at the app’s reviews on the Play Store there were a number of suspicious 5 star reviews that either did not elaborate or had one sentence reviews. Mijem also claims that their app is safer than other platforms, but I was unable to determine how that could possibly be. While they do have users create profiles, that alone does not make it safer than any other platform. Other marketplace apps have user profiles and are still plagued by safety issues.

    Lastly, the MIjem developers talk about a safety feature that should have been implemented before launch. In The News Record article, the developers claim they’re working on verifying .edu email addresses so users can have a verified check mark on their profile. This should have been a feature at launch and to make the app more secure only .edu email addresses should be accepted. While this doesn’t guarantee safety, it would go a long way in discouraging bad actors.

    However, since the app is extremely buggy and somewhat sketchy with its Play Store reviews, I would recommend college students to take a hard pass on MIjem.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on August 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: college, education, financial aid,   

    College students need an education about these scams 

    College students need an education about these scams

    The beginning of the school year for most college students is fast approaching. With that comes a number of concerns not just for returning students, but especially for those heading to college for the first time. As with any life changing moment, there are unfortunately a great number of scammers looking to take students for a financial ride.

    A number of these scams are variations on scams we’ve touched on before. For example, if a student is looking for an off campus place to live and a prospective landlord asks for money in advance without letting them see the property, then it’s obviously a scam. Along the same lines, if a student has placed an online ad looking for a roommate and receives a check for an amount larger than they requested, the check is obviously fake and cashing it could overdraw your own bank account. Other scams are targeted directly at students, like an offer for financial assistance or employment, where money is asked for up front for things like processing fees or background checks. As with most scams, if something doesn’t feel right, or feels too good to be true, it’s better to walk away from it than taking a chance with your finances.

    There are also some things that may not be scams that still look to take advantage of students such as credit card offers. While the offer for a credit card may be legitimate, the card may carry a high interest rate. Another great tip for students is to keep their identification and bank cards secure at all times as dorm rooms can be high traffic areas for identity thieves.

    Hopefully this knowledge will go a long way in helping college students have a less stressful school year.

     
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