UW-La Crosse wants to prepare college students for potential scammers

UW-La Crosse wants to prepare college students for

As your college students head off for the school year some are warning about con artists targeting campuses.

The Better Business Bureau recommends parents teach their college students how to spot the signs of a con artist. Financial advisors say there are many simple things students can do to protect themselves, like shredding documents.

“Having a lockbox, having your very important mail with maybe credit card information be sent back home, or at least protected and make sure that your receiving it and not missing statements,” said UW-La Crosse Financial Literacy Coordinator Amanda Gasper.

The University of Wisconsin La Crosse is hosting a workshop to teach students how to be safe on September 21st.

you can find more information on the workshop here.

The BBB recommends you watch for these scams:

Online Shopping Scams: Since many students shop online for convenience, these scammers are targeting students by selling popular items at a large discounted price. Different online companies are also offering trial offers that may end up charging you in the long run. Before purchasing any merchandise online, make sure the URL link starts with https and look for a small lock icon in the corner of the URL bar. And always confirm the business address for legitimacy and contact them directly to verify. Checking the URL information can give you the creation date, registration name and address.

Social Media: Social media is a great way to connect with a future roommate or find properties to rent. But it is important to do it the right way. Before reaching out to anyone, map out your must-haves. Share your essential needs with prospective roomies or landlords while you research who might be a good fit. Remember: When communicating with people, never share your personal or financial information.

ID Theft: This is a great time to chat with your student about the best ways to protect their finances. Secure personal information such as a social security card and financial statements in a lockbox, safe, or safety deposit box at your local bank; shred unneeded financial documents instead of simply tossing them in the trash. College students often receive credit card offers, which should be shredded as well; protect your mail by having important letters or financial information sent to your home address, rather than a university mailroom or apartment mailbox. Thieves often target these areas looking for ways to pick up a victim’s identity.

College Move-in Scams: Never pay a deposit on an apartment you haven’t seen in person. This is a common trap for students who are out of town and cannot look at the property prior to moving in. Also, avoid renting from someone who wants payment in advance via money transfer.