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Better Business Bureau warns of financial aid scams

Companies that help you find financial aid opportunities when it comes to schooling, aren't always credible, according to the Better Business Bureau.
Updated: May. 1, 2022 at 7:00 AM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Companies that help you find financial aid opportunities when it comes to schooling, aren’t always credible, according to the Better Business Bureau.

Whitney Quick shares some tips on what to watch out for.

“Be cautious if a representative urges you to buy now and avoid losing an opportunity. We always talk about how scammers will create the sense of urgency to make you think that I only have a little bit of time to act. Otherwise these offers can be gone. So this is another one of those times where I can take a step back think, never be pushed into doing anything,” Quick said.

“And be cautious if the company is reluctant to answer any questions that you may have about the service or the process. If the company or Seminar Representative is evasive. This is your red flag to walk away. But take advantage of the resources that you currently have. So ask your guidance counselor or your college financial aid office whether they have any experience with any of these companies, be skeptical of glowing successes,” she said.

“So anyone who is talking about how everything’s worked perfectly, ask instead for names of families in your community who have used the service so that you can actually talk to real people who have gone through this. So that way you can make your decision whether or not you want to use one of these companies. You’ll also want to ask about fees associated with professional financial aid search, and find out if the company provides a refund. Get everything in writing,” she said.

“But realize the dishonest companies may refuse to provide refunds, despite the state of our policies. Always beware of letters or emails saying that you’ve been selected to receive a scholarship for a contest you’ve never entered. We talked about this with sweepstakes scams if you’ve never entered a sweepstakes you did not win it. Same thing with scholarships,” she said.

“If you suspect a financial aid assistance company is running a scam make sure that you report them you can go to bbb.org and go to BBB scam tracker to report that and then again do your research investigate any company that you are considering using for financial aid. And you can always go to bbb.org to look at that company’s business profile,” she said.

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