‘Test-prep scam’ sweep­ing Vir­ginia, of­fi­cials warn

Daily Press (Sunday) - - Local News - By Kather­ine Hafner Staff writer Kather­ine Hafner, 757-222-5208, kather­[email protected]­lo­ton­line.com

High school­ers, be warned. Some­one has been spoof­ing the main phone num­ber of the State Coun­cil of Higher Ed­u­ca­tion for Vir­ginia. Spoofers mimic a phone num­ber on caller ID to con­ceal the true ori­gin of the call.

The scam tar­gets par­ents of high school stu­dents, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease from the coun­cil, by of­fer­ing SAT or PSAT prep ma­te­ri­als and re­quest­ing a credit card for pay­ment.

The call­ers even of­ten have the stu­dent’s name, ad­dress and phone num­ber — “mak­ing them seem more believ­able,” the Fed­eral Trade Com­mis­sion said in a news re­lease.

“Ex­cept your stu­dent didn’t ask for ma­te­ri­als, and it’s not this group call­ing.”

Vir­ginia of­fi­cials say the Col­lege Board never asks for credit card, bank or pass­word in­for­ma­tion via phone or email and also does not con­tact in­di­vid­u­als about test prep. Of­fi­cials also urge those seek­ing such prep ma­te­ri­als to re­search a com­pany on­line or talk to an author­ity like a school coun­selor first.

The coun­cil num­ber that’s been used for spoof­ing is 804-2252600. If you spot a scam, whether or not you lost money, con­tact the FTC at ftc.gov/com­plaint.

COUR­TESY OF WI­TOLD RYKA

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