Watch out for these five sneaky back-to-school scams when shopping
While there are great ways to save on school expenses, avoid these scams when looking for new supplies.
Fake text book websites
Approach online retailers with caution when they promise to sell you books at a fraction of the cost. Research the company selling the books before providing your credit card number to avoid potential theft.
Shady online advertisements
A text message, pop-up advertisement or Facebook post may offer a great price, but the link could be a trap to steal your information or swindle you out of your cash. Shop with sources you trust and never click on a link you are uncertain of, especially if the offer sounds too good to be true.
Strange payment methods
Some scam websites may try to get you to wire them money in order to buy items at a bargain price. A request for payment with a wire transfer or a gift card should always be a red flag.
Suspicious student loans
If a scholarship or loan offer comes with an upfront fee, proceed with caution. Usually, lenders or organizations won’t ask for money to lend money.
Student tax fraud
Fraudsters posing as IRS agents may call you demanding payment for “Federal Student Tax,” threatening police action if you don’t pay. There is no such tax, according to the IRS, who says they will never demand immediate payment over the phone.