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Pandemic spurs new SAT prep scams to bilk students, parents out of money

Preparing for the SATs is tough and scammers are playing off your kid’s need to do well to get at your money.

The scammers know no bounds. They even called Carrie Kerskie, a Southwest Florida cybersecurity expert, and president of Griffon Force.

She said, “Yesterday I received a call. They claimed to be from the College Board. Since they had to cancel the SAT test they wanted to send my daughter home practice tests, workbooks, CDs so that way she could study at home.”

The scammers even knew her daughter’s name and school. Information easy to find these days.

Kerskie said she was hesitant at first, so she asked them where this request is coming from. The scammers said the school asked them to call.

And the cost?

“He didn’t say for example $219.35. He said it would be 2-1-9-3-5,” she explained. “Because if he would’ve said $200 that would’ve piqued your interest and you would have said whoa wait a minute, I don’t want these. So that was a new technique we have not seen before.”

That’s when he hung up.

Kerskie called the College Board and the school to report it. Collier County Sheriff put out an alert on social media.

We checked with local school officials who were familiar with the scam and want families to be aware.

Here are a few quick ways to know recognize it’s is a scam

  • Sense of urgency
  • A consequence for not complying
  • Ask for payment by gift cards

Kerskie told her daughter to warn her friends, and of course, a simple rule of thumb when in doubt — hang up.

Reporter:Rich Kolko
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