There are so many scams on the Internet nowadays. It is important to stay ahead of the game and have more knowledge than the people scamming you so you do not fall victim to the many scams that are out there. Pay attention for these common scams:

  1. Scam sites will ask you for your credit card or bank account information. There is no reason why a legitimate scholarship website will want this information. Scam sites will want you to furnish this so they can steal your identity and take your money. They will be counting on you to be naïve, so do not let this happen. Real scholarship money gets sent directly to your school or to you in a check, so be careful.
  2. Do not pay a fee to apply for a scholarship. The most reputable scholarships would never ask you for money to simply apply. This is just another way to get money from you. If you send them an application fee, you are sure to get a rejection. Most scholarships are from a foundation or they raise money for the scholarships. They do not need your application fee to get the scholarships money.
  3. No website should need your Social Security Number. Even colleges do not use the Social Security Number as an identification number now. It is too easy to steal someone’s identity with this little nine-digit number. The only application that would need your social would be the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) because they are verifying your identity, or the application for your school.  If for some reason you do need to enter your social, make sure the site has a secure web address, or an https:  in the web address bar.
  4. If you find your weird scholarship on one website, then it should be on another. If you cannot find your weird scholarship anywhere except one place, then it may be a fake scholarship, put on the web to make you give them money or your personal information. Companies pay a lot of money to get personal information, so watch out for this.
  5. Did you know that there is a paid version of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid? Yes, there is a website with a misspelled version of the FAFSA website that actually charges money to fill out the FAFSA for you. Do not fall for a similar scam when it comes to weird scholarships! Make sure to read any fine print and if it seems too easy, it probably is.

Hunting for unusual and weird scholarships can be time-consuming and it can be hard to weed out the scams. Following these simple tips will help you to apply for legitimate scholarships that will help you in the long run. Make sure your friends and family know these tips as well. Often times, scammers will prey on those who are young or who they perceive to be naïve. Stay ahead of the game with these tips!