Have you just graduated from university? Watch out for these scams
HONOLULU (KHON2) – The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning college graduates of scams targeting them as they find a new place to live, search for jobs and begin the dreaded task of paying off student loans . Scammers are eager to take advantage of young people who are just entering their new chapter in life.
If you’re also a college graduate, here are some tips to help you avoid common scams.
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Don’t fall for bogus loan forgiveness opportunities.
It’s common to receive unsolicited emails, calls, and even text messages from your university when you join their alumni list. They don’t give you a lot of free time before asking for donations. But there are also companies that offer these ways by saying you qualify for reduced payments through a debt cancellation plan.
Some of these companies are real, but they offer services with false claims, and some are fake, only hoping to get their hands on your personal information and money. That’s why you need to know the terms of your student loans before you fill out a form or pay a fee.
Ask your university directly about the type of interest you owe, what you need to start paying, and how long you will need to make the payments. Scammers may also contact you about loan repayment in response to COVID-19. Click here for more information.
Don’t accept a new job without doing your research.
If you’re considering a job at a company you haven’t heard of, do some research before you even apply or accept an interview. Scammers are adept at luring new graduates by offering entry-level jobs with high salaries for generic job titles, such as “virtual assistant” or “customer service representative”.
They may ask for your bank account and social security numbers, claiming that they need your personal information to set up direct deposit or file taxes. Scammers may also ask you to pay for training or pay back extra funds that the company “accidentally” gave you.
Make sure the job you are looking for is also on the company’s website. Click here for more information.
Don’t send someone money for an apartment you haven’t seen.
Scammers like to copy and paste a property’s photo and description and then post it online with their own contact details. They’ll try to get a deposit and the first month’s rent. If you’ve found a great apartment in a trendy neighborhood and the price is affordable, chances are it’s a scam.
Do your research. Ask about the cost of other rental properties in the area before signing a lease. Most importantly, see the apartment for yourself. If you’re planning to move from another state and you can’t see it, ask someone you trust to go there and confirm that’s what was advertised.
Finally, be sure to read the rental agreement before signing it. Ask your family, friends and colleagues to consult it if you have any doubts or questions. Click here for more information.
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To learn more about scams and how to avoid them, visit BBB.org/AvoidScams.