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Better Business Bureau Warns About Impostors Offering Scholarships

2 years 4 months 4 weeks ago Thursday, April 26 2018 Apr 26, 2018 April 26, 2018 9:59 PM April 26, 2018 in News

MONTE CRISTO – The president of the Better Business Bureau said you can't be awarded a grant you didn't apply for. Keeping that in mind will protect you from falling victim.

Proud is an understatement for Ruben Borrego. His son Zeus was accepted at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania last week.

Borrego said he knows college isn't cheap. So when he received a call Monday about being awarded a grant, he was thrilled.

"For a second there I thought I was blessed; a second," Borrego explained.

Borrego said the caller told him the $7,000 grant would help pay for his son's schooling.

But a red flag appeared when the caller brought up a payment.

"Just make sure you take $250, then they're going to give you a check for $7,250," Borrega explained.

That's when Borrego said he knew it was a fraudulent call.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS was there when the caller tried again.

"The $250 you spend on the card, on the registration fee, that is refunded, OK. You will get that along with your grant money. So you will get in total $7,250, OK?" said the caller.

Borrego explained he didn't fall for it.

Dolores Salinas, president of the BBB, said this time of year these types of calls can be common.

"Right now is the time of the year when graduating seniors are applying for scholarships and awaiting award letters so this is this the time of the year when you are going to see scholarship scams," Salinas told CHANNEL 5 NEWS.

Salinas said any grant or scholarship you have to pay money to receive is a fake.  

She explained keeping a list of what grants you applied for can help you avoid falling victim.

"Any kind of communication from someone you did not apply from a scholarship that should be a red flag. I didn't apply for that scholarship how am I being awarded it," Salinas explained.

Salinas said a student's best guide in navigating financial-aid is to visit the financial aid counselor at the school.

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