Back to school is only a few days away, and whether it’s the first year or the final year of college/university, the days before the beginning of the school year is undoubtedly a busy time for students. Before classes start, students are occupied with setting up class schedules, making sure course credits are accounted for and purchasing needed course materials for the semester ahead. Amidst this hectic time, there is very little time to be vigilant of scams but there are plenty of opportunities for a scammer to strike if a student is not paying attention.
Paladin Security is partnered with more than 30 college and university campuses in four provinces across Canada. There are several common, yet effective, scams which circulate throughout the year that students should watch out for.
With the participation of our Investigations Services & Risk Management Department, here are a few tips on a few common scams college and university students may be highly susceptible to:
Be aware of employment scams that are advertised throughout campuses offering employment opportunities requiring very little to no experience from applicants. Some of these opportunities may be scams, which can come in the form of check cashing schemes. Scammers may ask to have a check cashed and allow you to keep a portion of the withdrawn amount but return the balance to the scammer. These presented checks are very likely to be fake.
Roommate Rental Scams
This type of scam is also often circulating especially at this time. There are many “fake roommates” lurking on the internet looking to make easy money. Some of these roommates may indicate that they will be coming in from out of town but are willing to pay for rent right away through a money order. These scammers then proceed to send you more than the amount requested and ask to you to return them the balance. The check provided is counterfeit, and you are left in the negative.
Online Shopping Scams
Online shopping scams continue to be prevalent and scammers will try to profit from unsuspecting students by offering online products at a steep discount. These vendors will usually request payment to be wired rather than paying through a credit card. Paying through a credit card protects you from most online-type scams.
The best way to deal with a potential scam is to know who you will be doing business with. Do vigilant research before agreeing to any monetary commitments and ask to meet face to face.