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scam-alert

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is warning about scam calls pretending to be from The College Board and targeting high school students and their parents. The College Board is the organization that issues both the SAT and PSAT.  Scammers are pretending to be representatives of the group following up on a request to send test prep materials and are requesting a credit card to complete the transaction. In several of the cases reported to the FTC, the callers even had the name and address of the student which can help make the call seem more believable.

To help defend against this type of scam, remember:

  • The College Board will never ask for your credit card, bank account, password, or any identification information over the phone.
  • Before proving any personal information to any request by a solicitor, make sure you know the company is legitimate. A great first step is to simply research the company online. Type in the name of the organization and terms such as “scam”, “fraud”, or “complaints.”
  • Talk to someone who may know. If you’re in need of test materials, financial aid, or other similar programs, ask like-minded parents/students, a school counselor, or a state agency. Many will likely know the specific process and can confirm either its validity or invalidity very easily.
  • Any time anyone asks you pay by gift card or wire transfer, you can be almost certain that it is a scam. Even when you are sure the company is legitimate, the best payment method is always a credit card.  The federal Fair Credit Billing Act protects against billing errors and allows consumers to dispute charges over $50 for unsatisfactory goods and purchases.

If you have additional questions, contact the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation by calling our Consumer Hotline at (617) 973-8787, or toll-free in MA at (888) 283-3757, Monday through Friday, from 9 am-4:30 pm. Follow the Office on Facebook and Twitter, @Mass_Consumer. The Baker-Polito Administration’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation along with its five agencies work together to achieve two goals: to protect and empower consumers through advocacy and education, and to ensure a fair playing field for Massachusetts businesses. The Office also oversees the state’s vehicular and customized wheelchair Lemon Laws and Arbitration Programs, Data Breach reporting, Home Improvement Contractor Programs and the MA Do Not Call Registry.

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