Avoid Scams & Fraud

As a college student, you are a target for scammers. They know that you are young, potentially inexperienced, and may be looking for financial support. Here are some tips to help you avoid scams:

  • Be wary of any offer that seems too good to be true. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Never give out your personal information, such as your Social Security number or bank account number, unless you are sure of the company’s legitimacy.
  • Do your research on the company before doing business with them. Check the company’s website, social media presence, and financial records.
  • Never click on links in emails or text messages from people you don’t know. These links could lead to malicious websites.
  • Keep your software up to date. Outdated software can have security vulnerabilities that can be exploited by scammers.
  • Use strong passwords and change them regularly. Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts.
  • Be careful what you post on social media. Scammers can use your personal information to target you with scams.

If you think you have been scammed, report it to the authorities immediately, both local (WSU or Pullman Police) and potentially to federal agencies.

Here is a helpful guide from the FTC on what to do if you were scammed.

And here is guide on who to report the scam to in addition to local authorities.

Additional Resources

The FDIC provides definitions & advise for a variety of scams to help you avoid them and protect yourself.

The FTC publishes a media library with guides on how to spot scams & fraud these cover a wide range of scam types and contain helpful advice.

For Handshake specific guidelines for how to avoid and report scams or fraud check this blog.