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Virginia Test-Prep Scam Spoofs Phone Number of State Council of Higher Education for Virginia

by Elizabeth Liverman | Jan 04, 2019
Contact: Laura Osberger
lauraosberger@schev.edu
(804) 786-2323 (o) or (804) 387-5191 (m)

January 7, 2019

For immediate release

Today, the State Council of Higher Education (SCHEV) learned that its main phone number (804-225-2600) was spoofed by scammers offering test-prep materials for the College Board’s PSAT and SAT tests. The scammers target parents of high school students preparing for college – via phone or email – about PSAT/SAT prep materials, then request a credit card for payment. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), “Often the scammers have the student’s name, address and phone number – making them seem more believable. Except your student didn’t ask for materials, and it’s not this group calling.”

The FTC offers these tips to avoid a test prep scam.

• The College Board will never ask you to give credit card, bank account or password information over the phone or via email. In addition, SCHEV does not contact individuals about test prep or any other similar activity.

• Make sure the company offering test prep materials is legitimate. How? Before you give up your money or personal information, research the company online. Search for their name plus the word “scam” or “complaint.” See about other people’s experiences. Also, talk to someone you trust, like another parent or your child’s school counselor, before you pay.

• Consider how you pay. Credit cards have significant fraud protection built in – meaning that, if you find out you paid a scammer, you may be able to get your money back if you report it quickly. And, if anyone asks you to pay by wiring money or by using a reloadable card or gift card, it is a scam.

SCHEV posted a warning about this scam on the homepage of its website (www.schev.edu) and is notifying all callers.  If you spot a scam, whether you lost money or not, the FTC asks you to contact them at ftc.gov/complaint.


Media resources -- including links to downloadable high-resolution photos and logos, news advisories and releases -- are available at www.schev.edu/media.

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The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia is the state’s coordinating agency for higher education. With The Virginia Plan for Higher Education, SCHEV is dedicated to making Virginia the best-educated state by 2030. For more on The Virginia Plan: schev.edu/index/statewide-strategic-plan
 
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