Information from www.fastweb.com student bulletin College Edition Aug./Sep. 2004.
10 Scam Warning Signs
- Fees: You shouldn't have to pay to search for or apply for scholarships. Check out the free scholarship search at www.fastweb.com.
- Credit card or bank account information needed: You should never have to give credit card or bank account information to award providers.
- Scholarship guarantee: No one can guarantee that you'll win a scholarship because no one can control scholarship judges' decisions. Also, be wary of "high success rates" - they usually do not refer to actual award winners.
- No Work Involved: You can't avoid putting in time to fill out a scholarship application.
- No contact information: Legitimate sponsors should provide contact information upon request. If the sponsor does not supply a valid e-mail address, phone number and mailing address (not a PO Box) upon request, that could be a sign of a scam.
- Unsolicited scholarships: If you are called to receive an award for which you never applied, be alert - it's most likely a scam.
- Pressure tactics: Don't allow yourself to be pressured into applying for a scholarship, especially if the sponsor is asking for money.
- Claims of "exclusive" scholarships: Sponsors don't make their scholarship available through only one service.
- Sponsor goes out of their way to sound "official": Scammers sometimes use official-sounding words like "national", "education" or "federal" or they display an official-looking seal to fool you into thinking they are legit. Check with your school if you question a scholarship provider's legitimacy.
- Your questions aren't answered directly: If you can't get a straight answer from a sponsor regarding their application, what will be done with your information or other questions, proceed with caution.