One of the great beginnings that comes with fall is back to school.
Parents rejoice at the routine and post-secondary institutions prepare for the hustle and bustle of full campuses.
With any new semester, the stresses of new classes, housing, assignments and costs can quickly pile up on students. The last thing a student wants to worry about is being scammed, but unfortunately, scammers are targeting college and university students more than ever before.
In many universities across Canada, student housing waitlists are on the rise – 5,000 students remain on the waitlist for on-campus housing at UBC alone – leading to the surfacing rental scams.
Among the housing scams are fake roommates, who respond to online ads saying they’re out of the country, but can provide the rent up front in the form of a money order. Fraudsters send a sum higher than the amount requested and then ask to cash it in and wire back the extra. The cheque then bounces while the e-transfer is accepted.
Another housing scam involves people posing as landlords and again, saying they’re out of town and requesting potential tenants to send money in exchange for keys that never actually arrive.
Tip: When searching for housing, personal connection is key. Do not agree online to any form of payment until you have met face to face and signed hard copies of the necessary documents.
Student Work Scams:
Employment scams are on the rise offering jobs with “no experience necessary.” Often these “once in a lifetime” opportunities to "build your empire" on a small investment are fake. Jobs may also be presented in another form of the cheque-cashing scheme. Fraudulent employers may claim to be out of town and require the candidate to send an investment for training. You never want to send money to anyone who claims to be out of the country and returning soon.
Tip: If you are interviewed in a hotel lobby and are required to pay an investment for training, travel, lodging, food, etc. the opportunity is most likely bogus. As a candidate, you are entitled to ask questions too!
For more information on trending scams and how to protect yourself, follow Paladin Security online – we have you covered!