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Important Information regarding Scholarship Scams

Published June 27, 2016

The university would like to remind all students to be careful to avoid scholarship scams and other forms of financial scams.

In addition to scams that you may encounter on the internet, there are many people and groups posing as legitimate scholarship committees, foundations, lenders, scholarship sponsors and so on. Scams are real. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Be cautious when speaking with anyone regarding university scholarship information. If you encounter an e-mail or phone call that seems suspicious, please contact the ULM Office of Financial Aid (318-342-5320) to verify the legitimacy of the source. 

We have included below a helpful list of "10 scam warning signs." Please keep these in mind as you deal with scholarship information, applications, e-mails, phone calls, and online forms. Another helpful source of information may be found on the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) website here. In the event that you feel you have fallen victim to a scholarship or financial scam, you can file a complaint with the FTC at the bottom of that page (see "Report Scams").

10 Scam Warning Signs

These quick tips can help you spot a scam. 

Knowing these warning signs can keep you from being a scholarship scam victim.

  1. Fees: You shouldn’t have to pay to search for or apply for scholarships. Check out the free scholarship search at FastWeb.com.

  2. Credit card or bank account information needed: You should never have to give credit card or bank account information to award providers.
  3. Scholarship guarantee: No one can guarantee that you’ll win a scholarship because no one can control scholarship judges’ decisions. Also, be wary of “high success rates”—they usually do not refer to actual award winners.
  4. No work involved: You can’t avoid putting in time to fill out a scholarship application.
  5. No contact information: Legitimate sponsors should provide contact information upon request. If the sponsor does not supply a valid e-mail address, phone number and mailing address (not a PO box) after you’ve asked for one, that could the sign of a scam.
  6. Unsolicited scholarships: If you are called to receive an award for which you never applied, be alert—it’s most likely a scam.
  7. Pressure tactics: Don’t allow yourself to be pressured into applying for a scholarship, especially if the sponsor is asking for money up front.
  8. Claims of “exclusive” scholarships: Sponsors don’t make their scholarships available through only one service.
  9. Sponsor goes out of their way to sound “official”: Scammers sometimes use official-sounding words like “national,” “education” or “federal” or they display an official-looking seal to fool you into thinking they are legit. Check with your school if you question a scholarship provider’s legitimacy.
  10. Your questions aren’t answered directly: If you can’t get a straight answer from a sponsor regarding their application, what will be done with your information or other questions, proceed with caution.

(Source of '10 scams warning signs' article: http://www.fastweb.com/college-scholarships/articles/the-10-scam-warning-signs)