College students are heading back to campus for the fall semester, and while many might be enjoying their first taste of freedom, crooks are looking to take advantage and steal their personal information and money.

News Channel 3 spoke with the Better Business Bureau of the MidSouth about ways students and their families can avoid falling victim to scams. “Well, there’s a couple of ones that we’ve identified that always target college students this time of the year,” said Daniel Irwin of the BBB.

3 Scams for College Students to Avoid

Bogus Financial Aid-Students will receive texts or emails that are phishing attempts, Irwin explained.

He said, “Phishing emails that purport to be from your school’s financial aid department. Sometimes it’ll have just a generic heading that says finance department or financial aid or financial department. Sometimes they’re text messages, but usually emails. And basically, they’re going to try to get you to click on a link.”

Rental Scams/Phony Apartment Listings-Rental scams and phony apartment listings can happen to anyone, year-round, but according to the BBB, they’re especially prevalent with college students. So, students should be cautious with too-good-to-be-true pictures and try to see the place in person before handing over any money.

Fake Credit Cards-Many college students have never applied for a credit card, so they see what looks like a legitimate offer, then hand over personal information, but then never receive a card.

Irwin also said because college students are targets for identity theft, it’s a good idea for them to check their credit reports.

Other ways to prevent identity theft on campus include having students keep important documents at home with their parents or find safe storage for the records.

It’s also critical for college students to avoid sharing debit or credit card information with friends; the same goes for passwords.

“You may not be a victim now. You may not be a victim in six months or a year, but you could be in six years or 16 years. So, you know, once your information is out there in the world, it’s there forever. So just be careful and guard it,” added Irwin.

According to the BBB, college students and their families should also watch out for bogus scholarship and grant offers as well as online shopping scams, which can be easy to fall for with a simple click.