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In this kind of scam, you are brought to the attention of scholarships existing via different communication means by scammers. They seem legit and they need a small upfront fee to facilitate processing of your scholarship. In some cases, you give information that can be used to defraud you in the future. Paying the money or giving out personal information, is the scam.

How does this scam work?

A fake scholarship is brought to your attention via different means such as email or social media sites. They may be providing undergraduate programs, post graduate programs or both and their locations are usually overseas, in countries that people prefer resettling in. Some scammers even set up well appealing websites that make it seem as if their scholarships are real. Usually the destinations are countries like the United States of America (USA), Australia, New Zealand, China and so forth. The set up fake scholarship sites make you go through the process of applying and entering information such as name, date of birth, academic qualifications and so on. This information may be used for identity theft, whilst some scammers just need these to make the program seem legit. In most instances, they make you pay application fees for you to be considered for the scholarship. They sometimes give names to the scholarships such as Emmerson Munangagwa scholarship or Joe Bidden Scholarship to make them seem legit. Now, when you make the payment, that is the end of it, and you have already been a victim. In some instances, they make it seem as if you are close to getting the scholarship and that is when they suggest some fees which needs to be paid. When you make the payment, you are being scammed and you won’t recover the money or get a scholarship either, since there is none. Another way in which you can be duped from scholarship scams is that a genuine scholarship may exist, but someone may prompt that to award it to you, you have to pay. When you make the payment, you don’t get the scholarship and you cannot claim your money back since you were involved in a corrupt act, and you cannot make a legal case against that. The people who propose this idea may have influence in the awarding of the scholarship or not, but in either case, you would have been scammed. In this kind of scam, you can be victimized monetarily, or personal information can be captured that can be used to victimize you in the form of Identity theft.

Red flags or Warning signs

How to protect yourself

Have you ever been scammed?

  • Do you think that you have ever been scammed? If you have, you can help the next person and guide them from not being a victim by reporting this scam.
  • Reporting this scam can help your friends and family.
  • Also, seek help and guidance on how to avoid being scammed.
  • In case you have issued your banking details or any other personal information that can get your bank account defrauded, contact your bank immediately.

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