The internet has democratized many industries, and the education industry is no exception. This also means that more scam artists are looking to take advantage of unsuspecting students.
Luckily, technology can protect us from unscrupulous players in the field, and several EdTech companies are working on solutions to help us ward off education scams. This blog is derived after following several notable expert guidance from speakers at the Education 2.0 Conference to fight the scams rampant in the education sector.
This blog will explain how students can use EdTech to check out education providers without stumbling into a scam or racking up thousands of dollars in student loans.
Most Common Types of Education Scams
Education scams can come in many forms, but the two most common are academic and financial.
- Literary scams involve students having their identities stolen or receiving money for a scholarship that does not exist.
- Financial scams can be especially dangerous as the scammer may gain access to bank account numbers or other sensitive information. Remembering this when students decide what classes they want to take online or at an institution they have never heard of before is essential.
While there are some steps they can take to handle the scam, it is up to the students themselves to research any potential education scams before making a decision, say experts who attended the Education 2.0 Conference’s Spring Edition.
Additionally, leaders have highlighted a few essential tips like looking into whether the educational institution’s website has been reported by others, using social media to see if anyone has had problems with it, and asking about any extra fees outside of tuition. But this is not enough.
Educational institutions must also play their part. Institutions should warn students about common education scams, provide advice on how to avoid being scammed, and offer ways to protect themselves.
For example, schools could warn students against giving out personal information over the phone or request additional documentation before granting scholarships. Institutions should provide various resources such as links to trustworthy sites and warnings on all correspondence coming from them to help prevent future problems.
Moreover, the need of the hour is for EdTech business leaders and academia to work together to combat these problems. With one side providing the technological solution and the other providing content, both sides will have something valuable to offer, making their collaboration beneficial.
How Can Students Avoid Getting Caught Up In Scams?
As spoken of in several post-COVID education events' speaker sessions, here are a few reds flags to watch for and tips to follow if you are a student and do not want to be the next victim of a scammer:
- Ask to see the institution's proof of enrollment. Not everyone who claims to work for a school is legitimate, and if you can't get a hold of someone you can trust, contact the school by phone or email to confirm that your enrollee is enrolled.
- Learn about fraud protection agencies that may protect students' finances in case of scams, suggest Education 2.0 Conference’s experts.
- Don't share information with anyone who calls or emails you asking for it, no matter how convincing they sound. This can include requests for personal information like Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, and bank account numbers. Also, steer clear of offers that seem too good to be true.
- Verify an online program's legitimacy by confirming that it has been accredited by an agency recognized by U.S. federal law and international accreditation standards. Ensure any company being paid fees sends them to the right entity (school) before enrolling.
- Research what comes with your online degree to ensure it is equal to a degree earned in person and will lead to jobs and opportunities you seek.
What's New in EdTech to Combat Scams? Education 2.0 Takes A Look
Educational platforms are increasingly focusing on security and fraud protection. Online classes in higher education have started incorporating more of these features, as some courses require a log-in process. Additionally, tools are popping up to help keep students on the right track academically.
Scam prevention tools and cybersecurity training are great ways for educators and parents to protect themselves against being duped by false advertisements. Online academic advising has also been on educators’ radars for preventing scams and helping keep students on track with their education. They may have more flexibility in choosing classes to take than in traditional schools.
EdTech innovators who will attend the Education 2.0 Conference to address growing educational scams believe that the inclusion of technology is vital in any sector, let alone the education sector. Yes, investment in EdTech can promise a resilient learning environment for your children.
Currently, technology is available to assess results, monitor student performance, control student retention, monitor book distribution, control teacher hiring, monitor educational system spending, and other functions. The potential of AI is also being harnessed in the education sector, especially for scams and fraud alerts.
Also, machine learning has been fundamentally changing the teaching and learning process while helping teachers to spot struggling students. Nevertheless, with a few correct algorithms, these tools can be used to discover scams in the sector.
The bottom line is that awareness is the key to fighting scams in the education sector or any sector, for that matter. But how can one be aware of something cloaking behind a protective wall? Enter EdTech innovations to help you out!
While the traditional method of learning is essential to enroot morals in students, a little innovation cannot harm; on top of anything, technological innovations can only help find and fight scams until it is completely extinguished.
However, it is not easy to fight scams and adapt technology if you are not well-informed about it. That is why it becomes even more essential to attend knowledge-intensive events like the Education 2.0 Conference to get a hold of scam prevention technologies and learn what the experts have to say about its scope.