I’m not sure I can name names here, so I’m not going to put the name of the outfit (unless a mod wanders through and authorizes it.)
Ivylad and I received a letter from an outfit we’ll call X. X offers financial aid and scholarship information to parents of high school students.
We had recently received a scholarship to send our daughter to the same private school our son attends, so we thought they were offering to help with our son’s college costs. We received a reservation number along with a number to call to make an appointment.
We were fairly excited about the prospect of locking up our son’s financial aid stuff so early (he’s only in 9th grade), so we made the appointment for 4pm this afternoon.
Then, for some reason, I decided to take a close look at the letter. (I know, dumb me for not doing it sooner.)
(bolding mine.) I also noticed the letter came from a different state from the people who gave our daughter her scholarship.
A warning bell sounded, and I hopped on line to Google, typing in “X scam.” Sure enough, this outfit charges anywhere from $600-$1000 for information available for free directly from the universities.
I notified the local tv stations, radio stations, the newspaper, and the police that this was going on this weekend. Ivylad and I are debating whether or not to go to the seminar and confront them, but I don’t know what good that would do. A couple of the media outlets seemed interested in my information and may be calling me back.
I just wished I had noticed sooner so I could have warned the school. They could have notified the parents of the other students who got this letter. According to my Google search, the group seminar by X is spent trying to frighten anxious parents about their inability to pay for college or lack of understanding on applying for financial aid. Then the families are asked to pay large fees for additional services. The information the families get is either never delivered, or very generic and vague.
Whew. Dodged a bullet there.