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Scholarship Scams

Below are helpful tips to avoid falling victim to “Scholarship Scams.” 
This information is provided by the Community Foundation’s Preventing Financial Scams Initiative.

Tips for Protecting Yourself From Scholarship Scams

Red Flags

  • If a scholarship charges a fee, it is usually a scam.
  • Be incredibly cautious of scholarships asking for your bank account number, Social Security Number, credit card number, or other personal information.
  • If you receive a scholarship you never applied for, it is probably a scam. Scammers will ask you to pay a fee to receive the supposed scholarship.
  • The scholarship claims to be sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. The Department of Education and other federal agencies do not endorse scholarships or businesses.
  • The scholarship says they will do all the work and makes big promises, like “We will give you your money back if you do not receive the scholarship.”


The Community Foundation of Northern Nevada, a 501 (c) 3 organization, is established to strengthen communities in our region through leadership and philanthropy. The information provided on this page does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this page are for general informational purposes only.

Rev. November 2021

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