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Watch out for online tutors extorting students with services

Crooks are going after struggling students with a deal that’s hard to refuse, and this one comes with a blackmail twist.

Many students are looking to online tutors for help. Homework is bad enough, but becoming a victim of extortion is a thing now.

Parents and students wanting good grades are going online to hire tutors to help with their classes, but these tutors go one step further by offering to do the actual homework or more for the students.

That can lead to more problems for everyone.

“If you hire a tutor to actually do your homework for you, that is cheating, and we shouldn’t be doing that,” said Bryan Oglesby with the Better Business Bureau. “But they are playing on that emotion, these scammers. Because they know you’ve engaged in that activity, and now, they are leading you on to pay them more money, or they will extort you and report your cheating to your local school or your teacher.”

Tutors are a great resource for help, but that person has to be legit:

  • Check references
  • Ask teachers, friends and family for recommendations
  • Will tutor negotiate all sessions and costs up front?
  • Pay with a credit card in case charges are disputed
  • Beware of unsolicited internet ads

Another way to get help: See if your teacher has extra study sessions you can take advantage of.

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Reporter:Rich Kolko
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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