As students prepare to start a new semester of college the New York State Division of Consumer Protection (DCP) is providing students with guidance on how to start this new academic year safely with targeted scam prevention and safety tips.


New York State is home to nearly 300 higher education institutions and incoming students have many decisions to make – living away from home for the first time, navigating financial aid, or building credit – which leaves students susceptible to getting scammed.


“The best way for college students to avoid textbook, scholarship, or rental scams is to be informed. This is an exciting time as students, often on their own for the first time, learn how to balance their freedom and responsibilities. This new independence makes them targets for scammers,” said Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez in a press release.


“The goal of the Division of Consumer Protection is to educate students and arm them with the knowledge to protect themselves against identity theft, scams, and other safety prevention tips,” he added.


DCP offers students information on common scams they may encounter such as fake scholarships, grants, or loans; unpaid tuition scams; fake employment or internship offers; buying books online; misleading credit card offers; rental or roommate scams.


The guidance also offers students tips on how to protect themselves online including keeping all personally identifiable information private, practicing online safety, and understanding the consequences related to these scams.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk State and Local Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.