By Lim Dara, year-four student from IFL
“It does not just happen in America, Australia, United Kingdom, but it can also happen in poor countries, such as Cambodia…..”
SCHOLARSHIP fraud is a kind of illegal act which is conducted to cheat anyone related to scholarship given in order to get money or goods in return. According to the website: www.finaid.org, there are hundreds of parents and students in the United States become victims of such a crime that make them lose more than $100 million every year. It does not just happen in America, Australia, United Kingdom, but it can also happen in poor countries, such as Cambodia whenever those people involve in scholarship applying. Now that the trend is overarching, strategy possible to prevent is to first equip ourselves with the many different forms of scholarship scam and secondly ways to protect ourselves from becoming a victim of this sort of scholarship.
Scholarship scam exists in many characteristics which are very difficult to recognize. However, based on the website above, there are a few general characteristics that have happened so far. The above website mentions that one of the scam is a scholarship that never materialized. This means that the scholarship ask for payment from the students up front for some unimportant uses, but provides a little or no exchange at all. Usually, students think that they did not win the scholarship that is why they did not receive anything, such as result announcement, comment, feedback, and so on. Hence, the cheating goes on endlessly without receiving any recognition. Besides, the website continues that a scholarship for profits is also one of the scholarship scams. It is like a real scholarship, but this kind of scholarship asks you to pay from $5 to $35 to register or complete application. If the students win the scholarship, they will receive $1000 for their studying, for example. Additionally, advance-fee loan, based on the website, is another characteristic of scholarship fraud as well. The scholarship provides the students with an unusual loan which asks the students to pay money first before they receive the loan. Once the students spent their money, the promised loan never materialized. Furthermore, the website reveals that a scholarship prize should also be taken into account. Some scholarship scam sends the students a statement to tell them that they win scholarship prize. However, it will ask for some payment for taxes or anything before they could release the prize. When the students pay, nothing will they receive as exchange.
It is very annoyed and regretful if you were cheated by a scholarship scam. In order that you can avoid it successfully, you should learn some tips. Extracting from the website, there are some advices which are very useful for protecting yourself from becoming a victim of the scholarship scam. Firstly, you should remember that you will never spend much more than for a postage stamp to get the scholarship information. A legal scholarship never charges of application form or anything else. If you happen to involve in a scholarship that ask you to spend for application form or any related information, you should not continue your applying. Secondly, you should be aware of application form that asked about credit card number, bank account number, social security number, and so on. It is mistrustful because they can take the information to withdraw your money from your bank account easily. Thirdly, typing and spelling error in the information are also signs of scam. It lacks of professional appearance.
In conclusion, receiving a scholarship award is an honor. However, being a victim of scholarship scam is shameful. Thus, as an eager learner who wishes to study abroad on a scholarship, you should be aware of scholarship fraud. Being protected can be easily obtained by just following the above mentioned tips.