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ELPD issues admissions scam alert

Posted at 5:09 PM, Dec 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-20 21:26:08-05

LANSING, Mich. — A lot of high school students and their families are in the college application process and that is putting them in the cross-hairs of a new scam that is looking to take advantage of parents' desire to see their kid get into a good school.

Police are specifically telling families to be careful with offers for admissions exam study packets. They say families are getting calls offering to sell study packets for exams and are warning parents that these call are not legitimate.

"It is very new so it's hard to tell how big it's going to be, or if we're going to receive many calls or not," Deputy Chief Steve Gonzales, of the East Lansing Police, said.

East Lansing Police say the scam urges parents to give out personal information in order for their students to receive college entrance exam study packets. They say it's a hoax in order to get credit card information.

"The caller is very persuasive. They do have some personal information that could probably be gained from an open-source information through the internet," Gonzales said.

That information includes things like the student's current high school and what colleges they've applied to.

"The key, though, is that at the end of the call, the caller will ask for both personal information in the form of an email address, or home address and then ask for credit card information, so that should be the main clue," Gonzales said.

Police are warning that no reputable business would ask for personal information like card numbers, or social security numbers over the phone and are urging people to be mindful of where you share your information online.

"It's probably good to take a look at your card history, and take a look into any personal information that is out there like credit cards, social security numbers haven't been compromised," Gonzales said.

Police say if you're looking to get your child help with the admissions process, you should find and research companies on your own, rather than work with someone who cold-calls you.

Officers said scams like these typically don't last long before the criminals move on to something else. They're working to find out where the calls are coming from.

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