College Test Prep Scammers Claiming to Be From the College Board Again Targeting Families
These scammers often sound convincing and can even have student's name, address, and other personal information to make the scam seem even more legitimate
Is there a high school student in your life that will soon be preparing for the college? Scammers are at it again. They're pretending to be from the College Board and target unsuspecting families in order to take advantage of your desire to help that student get admitted to the best schools. You want to do your part to help out, but do you know what to look for in order to spot one of these scams?
It's not the College Board
These scammers contact you claiming to be from the College Board, the organization responsible for SAT and PSAT tests that students take before applying to colleges. But they're not from the College Board because that organization won't contact you that way. The scammers are trying to get your credit card or bank account numbers in order to send test prep materials that they say the student requested. Most teenagers don't keep a list of who they've contacted or what they've requested, so it's easy to see why many families fall for this scam even if they check with the student.
It Sounds credible at first
It's easy to get information these days with the Internet, and these scammers are experts at scouring school websites, social media posts, sports team pages, etc. They often have the student's complete legal name, home address, school name, family member names, etc. If the information is out there somewhere, the scammers have probably found it while doing their research.
To make it look more credible, these scammers often 'spoof,' or change, the caller ID so that it appears the call is coming from the College Board.
The College Board Won't Be Contacting You
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the College Board, even if the call appears to be legitimate, do not provide any personal information or financial information. The College Board does not make unsolicited phone calls to students or families requesting personal or financial information. In these cases, it's best to simply hang up.
The College Board only calls students and their families in direct response to student-generated inquiries and/or to provide students and families with specific information about a test or program for which the student has already registered.
Warning Signs of a Scam
The College Board will never under any circumstances ask you to give credit card, bank account or password information over the phone or via email. The College Board will also never ask you to wire money or to provide a gift card payment. If you are asked for any of this information, end the contact immediately. In fact, if any caller, whether claiming to be from the College Board or any other company or government agency, asks you to provide a payment via a gift card, you are certainly talking to a scammer and need to hang up.
Make Sure the Contact is Legitimate
If you are contacted by someone claiming to be from the College Board, the College Board wants you to contact them directly at (866) 756-7346 to verify that the caller is legitimate.
Regardless of who is calling or sending an email, always look up the company or agency phone number directly from the official website. If the caller gives you a phone number to call, it might be to another scammer. And if you call a phone number or click a link in an email, it could end up going to a scammer or to an impostor website.