EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

Scammers are taking advantage of the demand for ACT and SAT prep

Mar 22, 2024, 3:00 PM

ACT and SAT prep scams are becoming more common....

Standardized test Photo Courtesy - Shutterstock

SALT LAKE CITY — Standardized tests like the SAT and ACT are an occasionally crucial part of college admission — that’s why it’s so scary to think there are scams.

Parents and students will likely spend time, effort, and money on prep courses for these tests. The demand is there, and scammers have noticed.

“What we’re most commonly seeing is a parent gets a call claiming to be from the college board, saying that their child has applied to their school for test-prep material,” said Melani Fox, the communications director for the Better Business Bureau.

Fox says the people behind the ACT and SAT prep scams find ways to learn a kid’s name, address, school or even testing dates. Armed with this kind of knowledge, scammers can come off as more than legitimate when they call families. She shared one example.

“The parent thought this was totally legitimate, and they provided their card information and were charged $250.”

Fox says your money gets lost unless your payment is on a credit card. If you do get a call, then Fox says the best way to defend yourself against this is to double-check.

“Ask your child, ask the school, you can even ask the college board,” she suggests, “College boards won’t ask for credit information over the phone.”

It’s hard to know how scammers get a student’s personal info first place; until then, you can avoid extra stress by simply asking your kid if they signed up for the course in the first place.

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Scammers are taking advantage of the demand for ACT and SAT prep