BBB warns of SAT and cash back app scams

Enrolling for and taking the SAT can be very stressful for parents and families. Because of the high stakes and the cost, scammers know that any leg up to get a good score is something that parents and students are sure to jump at. The score you receive on the test will help determine which college high school students will be able to get into.

Scammers looking to take advantage of students and parents make cold calls saying that they are from the College Board, the company that administers the SAT. According to Stephanie Garland of the Better Business Bureau in Springfield, MO, paying for tutors and test prep can be worth the price.

“Especially if the student is going to get between 6,000 and 10,000 dollars more for scholarships annually if the student scores better.”

The BBB warns to be wary of unsolicited phone calls or texts from individuals who say they are from the College Board. Parents should also inform their high school student about the possible SAT scam and not agree to anything over the phone with anyone from the “College Board.” Registration and payment for the SAT are taken care of online, and nobody from the board will contact you through a telephone call.

Due to so much public information (thanks to social media), parents are being tricked into paying for scam SAT prep classes. Scammers can pinpoint a student’s name, high school location, friends, and other personal information. The scammers then call the student’s parents armed with all of this information to make it seem like they have spoken to the student and know them. According to Stephanie, never pay for anything over the phone to the College Board unless you have initiated the phone call.

“The caller needs you to pay a deposit, sometimes several hundred dollars for the materials. They say that it’s going to be refunded when the materials are returned. Unfortunately, if you provided your phone number or credit card details, not only do the materials never arrive, but your deposit will also never be refunded.”

Stephanie says that they could now steal your identity with this information.

Another scam, as many of us look to save money during this uncertain time, is people selling memberships to cashback apps like Ibotta that are free to download and use. Another popular app and extension for your internet browser is Rakuten. Both allow you to money back on purchases, gift cards, and other rewards simply for making purchases through them.

The Better Business asks you to read the fine print before you to make sure you understand how your information will be used and whether you have to pay a membership fee. Also, find out our payouts work and whether you need to hit a certain threshold of funds for you to access them. Also, investigate different apps and use the one that best fits your shopping patterns so that you don’t have to make unneeded purchases to get your money back.

Finally, before you make a purchase, ensure that it is the correct quantity and the exact item that needs to be purchased, or it could cause a lot of hassle and waste of your time returning the wrong items.

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