Fraudulent Activity and the Mastercard Foundations Scholars Program

On social media there has been an increase in the number of scams targeting young people seeking scholarships. You can protect yourself from scholarship scams by being informed. To avoid becoming a victim to an individual or organization misrepresenting the Mastercard Foundation or its partners, keep the following in mind:

How to identify a scholarship scam

Scammers are using fake websites and portal or misrepresenting themselves to acquire funds or personal information that can be used to commit identity theft. Here are a few things you can look out for when identifying a scam.

Paying money upfront

  • Be aware if you’re required to pay money upfront when applying for a scholarship. While some schools require an application fee, if you are asked by an individual for a ‘facilitation fee’ to access the program, it’s likely not real. Official application fees will be reimbursed if you are selected to be a Scholar.

Guaranteed Scholarships

  • Be aware of individuals in institutions that guarantee you a scholarship. Fraudsters will also ask for a fee or personal information to commit identity theft. The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program Scholarship is highly competitive, gaining admission to a partner institution does not guarantee that you will be selected into the program.

How to Protect Yourself from a Scam

  • Do not provide national identification, bank information or pay an upfront fee application before verifying directly with the institution.
  • Do not give money to individuals promising scholarships in exchange for a fee, including those claiming to be Mastercard Foundation Scholars or alumni. They are misrepresenting themselves, the institution and the Mastercard Foundation.
  • Do not accept scholarships from institutions that you haven’t applied to without doing your research and due diligence.
  • Do use reputable sources for your research including teachers at your secondary school, the Mastercard Foundation Scholars program team at the institution you are interested attending.

Find out how to become a Mastercard Foundation Scholar.

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