Protecting Your Teen From Fraudulent Calls ACT
BBB experts advise parents to do their research when they get an email or call about tests like the ACT or SAT.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Better Business Bureau is issuing a warning to parents as ACT and SAT scam calls spread through central Ohio.
Hilliard-Davidson’s mother, Erin Stitt, said her daughter had decided to go to Kent State early next fall. She never registered to take the ACT because the university made those scores optional due to COVID.
Stitt said it was late January when she got a call from someone asking for study materials for her daughter.
“It was an unknown number, but it listed my city and state, so I answered it just in case it was something important,” Stitt began. “They asked me if it was a relative of, they named my daughter, and I said yes and they said recently that she had requested study materials for the ACT and we wanted to confirm her information and i said its not true that she has already been accepted into college and before i even finished the word college they hung up on me.
Stitt is one of many parents who have received calls like this wondering how their information and that of their child was found. BBB employees in central Ohio said it’s common for scammers to use current events as testing to make scams relevant.
Judy Dollison, president of the Central Ohio BBB, advises parents to research when they receive an email or call about tests like the ACT or SAT to make sure it’s the company. real and never give personal information.
Parents can also check with their child’s school to find out what personal information others may find about their child. Hilliard City Schools has a Student Directory which lists limited student information. More specific information should be requested and verified before being published.
If you’re a parent who’s received a call or email asking for information about your child, Dollison said there are three steps to take if you discover your child is the victim of identity theft.
“First, report and close all fraudulent accounts,” Dollison said, that means contacting all companies that have fake accounts in your child’s name and closing them. She also said that parents should ask for a written letter stating that your child is not responsible for the fees.
“The second thing is to freeze the child’s credit report, it’s called a security freeze,” Dollison said.
Any child under 16 will need a parent or guardian to freeze credit.
“The third step is if there’s been a compromise and you’re a victim of identity theft, you report it to the Federal Trade Commission,” Dollison said. voldidentite.gov will tell you how to report the problem.
10TV contacted ACT to ask about situations that could make a student’s personal information publicly available. They released the following statement:
“The PreACT instructions given to students at the time they take the test include information about ACT’s Educational Opportunity Service (EOS) program, and students will only be enrolled in the program if they complete the answer choice “Yes.” to enroll in the program. The student can fill in the answer choice ‘No’ if they do not wish to participate in the EOS program. The instructions inform the student that by opting for EOS, they will receive information from the colleges , universities, financial aid/scholarship organizations, and other educational and professional programs, products, and services. The student’s phone number is not shared with these organizations.
The instructions also direct the student to go to the ACT webpage for more information on EOS or to contact ACT to withdraw from this program. Any student or parent who receives an unsolicited call about test prep from a company claiming to be ACT can contact us to report the activity. Additionally, the ACT and SAT are administered by two separate organizations, so students and families should be wary of any callers claiming to represent both.
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