Attorney General Henry Warns of Test Prep Scams Targeting Pennsylvania Parents

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HARRISBURG, PA — As students across Pennsylvania gear up for pivotal academic exams such as the PSAT, SAT, and ACT, a concerning scam has emerged, prompting Attorney General Michelle Henry to issue a stern warning to parents. Scammers, exploiting the anxiety surrounding these tests, are posing as representatives from the College Board or similar educational organizations, offering preparation materials under false pretenses.

The scam typically begins with a phone call to parents, during which the scammer, armed with detailed personal information about the student, including their name, address, school, and upcoming test details, seeks to establish credibility. The caller then proceeds to request parental consent and a deposit for the test prep materials, assuring that this deposit will be refunded once the materials are returned after use.

Attorney General Henry emphasized the importance of vigilance during this stressful period. “There is a lot of pressure and anxiety that go along with being prepared for these exams, so make sure you remain vigilant and protect yourself in coming months,” she cautioned. In her statement, Henry also offered critical advice: always pause and think before divulging any personal information or making payments.

This scam not only preys on the trust of parents aiming to support their children’s academic endeavors but also highlights a broader issue of personal information security. In an era where data can often be accessed or purchased illicitly, the specificity of the information used by scammers in these cases is particularly alarming.

To safeguard against such scams, the Attorney General’s office has provided several tips:

  • Be cautious of unsolicited phone calls and emails requesting payment.
  • Never provide personal or financial information over the phone or via email to someone who contacts you out of the blue.
  • If approached by such callers, say you need to discuss with another family member first and promptly end the call.
  • Remember, the College Board does not request banking or credit card information over the phone or by email.
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For those who have encountered these or similar scams, or if there are any concerns regarding suspicious activities, the Attorney General encourages submitting a complaint to the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. This proactive measure not only aids in the individual case but also helps in the broader battle against fraudulent activities targeting Pennsylvanians.

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