TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Scammers can and do target anyone. Young people are not immune. As we approach the end of what's been a challenging school year, those scammers are preying on desperate students.
According to the Better Business Bureau, the scam starts with cheating on homework and ends with extortion.
A student looks online for help with homework. Instead of a tutor, the student finds someone who will just do the work for them. The student pays money up front but, instead of doing the work, the scammer says they need more money.
Better Business Bureau President and CEO Tim Maniscalo says, "They're going to threaten you and they're going to say, 'Hey, we're going to tell your parents. We're going to tell your teacher that you've actually been cheating on your homework, cheating on your tests.'"
An easy way to avoid this scam is obvious: don't cheat on your homework.
If you are looking for an online tutor, consider these tips from the Better Business Bureau:
Ask for recommendations. Teachers may know of some free and reliable options.
Check the tutor's references and ask about their results.
Decide how much you'll be paying up front.
You can report scams to the Better Business Bureau using the Scam Tracker.