Thursday, April 4, 2024

SAT Scam Alert

This time, it's not the College Board perpetrating the scam.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Michelle Henry sent out an alarm on Monday warning that scammers are contacting parents of students who are getting ready to take the PSAT, SAT, and ACT. The pitch is for some non-existent test prep materials. And it's not just Pennsylvania

"Just give us a deposit, and the materials will be on their way," say the scammers, who also promise that the deposit will be refunded after the materials are used and returned. Just use your credit card to put down the deposit.

The parents get no test prep materials. The scammers have their credit card numbers and a chunk of their money.  

What really sells the scam is the information the scammers have. Folks reporting the scam to the Better Business Bureau say that the caller claims to from the College Board, just calling to confirm the student's information, and the scammers know the name, address, school information, and the date and location for the student's test. 

Caller, Carson, stated my son had requested SAT prep materials through College Board student services. He had my address, my son’s name, date and location of the SAT test my son is scheduled to take. Caller stated they needed parental permission prior to sending documents and that I needed to give him a credit card number for collateral.

We would be sent the college SAT prep materials; the materials would be free of charge for 30 days and we would need to return the materials in the envelope provided and my card wouldn’t be charged. The caller stated they send email reminders prior to the return deadline and will send shipping confirmation once the material package is mailed out. My card was charged $249.95 instantly.

Authorities remind you not to give out financial information to strangers, and the College Board won't call you up to ask for your credit card number.

This is not a new scam; it was being run back in at least 2022. It's just one more sad side effect of the fear and anxiety that have been attached to these Big Scary Tests that students are repeatedly told will Affect Their Entire Future! But it does raise one question--whose data has been hacked in order to provide scammers with all that info about the student? 

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