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SAT/ACT Test Prep Scams Are on the Rise

CollegiateParent


Now that spring is officially here, high school students are scrambling to prepare for the SAT and ACT. This can be a stressful time for students — and for family members helping them with the college search and application process.

Unfortunately, scammers are taking advantage of this busy season by posing as members of educational organizations, claiming to provide test preparation materials to high school students and their families.

This Is What the Scam Looks Like

High school parents have received unsolicited calls from scammers claiming to be from College Board, the company that administers the SAT, PSAT and AP tests, or from other educational institutions such as their student’s school.

According to victims, the callers appear credible because they possess personal information such as the name of the student, the student's high school and family phone numbers. Some callers have even manipulated their location and caller ID so it looks like they’re calling from an official College Board number. 

The scam involves an offer of test prep materials in exchange for an address, credit card details and a deposit which callers claim will be refunded once the test materials are returned to them. Unfortunately, as soon as the callers have your credit card information, you will never receive the test materials or see the money again.

Protect Your Student and Yourself With These Tips

  • College Board does not make unsolicited calls to students or parents.
  • College Board handles most sensitive information through their secure online portal, and will not ask for passwords, account information or credit card details over the phone or over email.
  • Never provide bank account information, including credit card numbers, over the phone to an unsolicited caller.
  • If you receive a call claiming to be from College Board and you want to double check its origins, you can contact College Board directly at 866-680-9990.
  • Before paying for a test preparation service, research what kind of consumer protections your credit card offers, and pay with the credit card rather than directly from your checking or savings account.
  • Check with your student and their school to see if they’re connected to any of the calls you’ve received before moving forward.

If your student is interested in standardized test prep materials, they can check with their high school counseling office to see if they have free or discounted materials available.

They can also take advantage of free online SAT test prep including practice tests on the College Board website, and free, personalized Official SAT Practice through Khan Academy. The ACT also offers a free full-length practice test and study guide online.

Find more information from College Board about telemarketing and internet scams here >

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