Current Issue

Beware: SAT Scams on the Rise

In the competitive landscape of college admissions, the SAT stands as a crucial milestone for students wanting to gain a higher education. However, lurking beneath the surface are scams targeting eager and vulnerable students and parents. From deceptive calls offering test prep materials to fraudulent promises of guaranteed score improvements, the realm of SAT scams is expanding, leaving unsuspecting individuals vulnerable to financial losses and compromised personal information. 

Hunting Learning Center is the nation’s leading tutoring and test prep provider, and they are warning students and families that SAT prep scammers are on the rise. Anne Huntington Sharma, President of Hunting Learning Center, advises parents and students on how to avoid becoming victims of these types of scams.

Different Types of Scams Circulating
According to Sharma, these are the most popular scams happening. 

  1. Unsolicited calls offering test prep materials that require upfront payment but never arrive.
  2. Fake test center changes, where scammers claim there’s been a change in the test center and request personal information to “update” the registration. 
  3. Fraudulent test preparation services may promise guaranteed score improvements for exorbitant fees but fail to deliver on their promises. 

These scams are becoming increasingly difficult to detect because some scammers have detailed personal information about students, like their names, test dates, and locations. In recent cases, these scammers pose as representatives of educational organizations like the College Board. 

“They may employ high-pressure sales tactics, such as insisting on immediate payment for test prep materials or promising guaranteed score improvements, to deceive students and parents into providing sensitive information or making payments,” Sharma warns. 

Red Flags to Lookout For
A good tell, if you’re communicating with a scammer, is a sense of urgency or if there’s pressure to act quickly. Here are some of the other red flags to look out for: 

  1. Unsolicited calls or emails offering test prep materials
  2. Requests for sensitive information (credit card details or Social Security numbers)
  3. Promises of guaranteed score improvements
  4. Demands for immediate payment or deposits

Ways to Steer Clear of Scammers
Sharma explains students and families should take several precautions to protect themselves from SAT scams. 

  1. Verify the legitimacy of any offers or communications they receive by contacting official sources such as the College Board directly
  2. Avoid sharing sensitive information, especially financial details, over the phone or online unless they initiate the transaction and trust the recipient
  3. Rely on reputable and accredited test preparation services with a proven track record of success

“Finally, they should report any suspected scams or fraudulent activities to appropriate authorities, such as the College Board or the Federal Trade Commission, to prevent others from falling victim to similar schemes,” Sharma says.  

Family Food

Newsletter Signup

Your weekly guide to Mile High family fun. Colorado Parent has a newsletter for every parent. Sign Up