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BBB warns of college test preparation scams

(Photo Supplied/State of Massachusetts Government)

As high school students prepare to take the SAT and ACT exams, parents are encouraged to watch out for scams.

The Better Business Bureau says scammers have been calling parents, claiming to be from the College Board or another educational organization.

The caller claims to be confirming the students’ address so they can send test prep materials that the student requested at school, and they often already have the child’s name, phone number, address or other information on file.

But, they say they need you to pay a deposit for the materials, allowing them to gather your credit card number and personal information without ever providing the materials.

The BBB offers the following tips to avoid the scams:

How to avoid test prep scams

  • Always be wary of unsolicited callersIf someone calls out of the blue asking for payment, always research their organization before you share personal information or agree to receive services or products. Look up the business they claim to represent at BBB.org. Search the name along with the words “scam” or “complaint” to find out if others had negative experiences. Check BBB Scam Tracker to see if anyone else has filed a report about the company.
  • Double check with your child. If scammers say they are calling because of a service your child requested, tell them you need to check with your child first and hang up. Make sure their claims are legitimate before you call back or accept a return call. Don’t send any money or make a payment if there is any doubt about the call. The same is true for emergency scams.
  • Understand the College Board’s practices. The College Board will never ask you for bank or credit card information over the phone or via email. If a caller suggests otherwise, hang up. Learn more about the College Board’s policies.
  • Use your credit card when possible. Credit cards may refund your money if they spot a fraudulent charge or if you report one in a timely manner. You may not be offered the same protection if you pay with your debit card or other payment options. Never agree to pay a stranger with a money wire, prepaid cards, or digital wallet, such as Cash App or Venmo.

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