Even in a slumping economy, the cost of a college education continues to rise, and college-bound students and their parents are seeking any financial assistance they can get. However, there are financial frauds and scholarship scams out there that parents and students of which parents and students should be aware.
If you’re researching college education financing, make sure you’re aware of some of the warning signs of a scam. You shouldn’t have to pay a fee for a scholarship, you should apply for scholarships yourself, and you should not have to offer up credit card or bank account information to receive funding. For more warning signs, read this Consumer Advisory (PDF).
As with any case of potential financial fraud, if you think you are a victim, make sure you contact your bank or credit card company, explain the situation, and request that your account be closed or monitored. If you think you’ve received a fraudulent offer, contact the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, and the Attorney General’s Office. You can report the fraud to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of the Inspector General, the Federal Trade Commission, and the National Fraud Information Center.
Summary of the 2015 Consumer Federation of America Annual Consumer Complaint Survey posted on Jul 22
The Consumer Federation of America and the North American Consumer Protection Investigators recently released the results of the 2015 Consumer Complaint Survey. This report is based on consumer information, complaints, and suggestions for increased consumer protections from 33 consumer agencies in 21 states.
Do-Not-Call Consumer & Solicitor Responsibilities posted on Jul 20
The Massachusetts Do-Not-Call Registry allows consumers to stop receiving certain telephone solicitations simply by signing-up and providing their telephone number. Established in 2003, the law requires telephone solicitors, list-brokers, and telemarketers to register with the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, subscribe to the Do-Not-Call Registry, and remove registered telephone numbers of consumers from their call lists.
Registry of Motor Vehicles Mimic Websites posted on Jul 14
Massachusetts consumers looking to renew a license or schedule a road test online through the Registry of Motor Vehicles may come across unofficial third-party websites, or “mimic sites.” Do NOT be fooled! These services have no affiliation with the RMV, regardless of how real they may seem.