Parents Be Aware of Growing Scams Using Phoney ACT and SAT Prep Materials

Parents are asked to be alert against a rise in scams involving phony test preparation materials as high school kids prepare for their SAT and ACT tests. Con artists are using the stress of college admission examinations to target parents with intricate schemes, according the Georgia Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Georgia BBB official Taelore Hicks described how these con artists work. They frequently make the first call, posing as representatives of the College Board. The con artists persuasively claim that the kid asked for study materials at school and that the parent had to deposit money right away to get them. Usually asking about $250, the con artists offer to reimburse the money if the study materials are returned in 30 days, a guarantee they never keep.

These con artists are especially convincing since they have detailed information about the students, including their full names, schools, and exam places. Hicks emphasized the need of parents and students being careful with the personal information they post online by pointing out that this information is probably obtained via social media and public records.

Hicks said in an interview with Channel 2’s Tom Regan at their Alpharetta contact center that they have gotten a lot of complaints from parents who were duped. She made a point of saying that the kids have frequently not requested any materials at all and that these dishonest callers are not connected to the College Board.

The College Board has posted cautions on its website to thwart these frauds, making it clear that they never call parents to ask for money or approach them directly about study materials. Along with a list of suggested resources—many of which are free—the College Board makes sure that students can study for their tests without running the danger of falling for con artists.

Hicks cautions parents to always confirm with the alleged group directly the veracity of any unwanted communication. A quick verification call to the College Board’s official number can stop possible fraud before you agree to any payment or give personal information.

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In the front line of these fraudulent scams are parents. They may keep themselves and their kids from falling prey to these ever-more-sophisticated con games by being aware and circumspect. Both parents and children should be reminded as test season draws near of the need of protecting personal information and carefully examining any unsolicited offers pertaining to test preparation resources.

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