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Fake Scholarship email

posted Jul 7, 2014, 7:03 AM by Craig Cox   [ updated Jul 7, 2014, 7:06 AM ]
An email turned in to me this morning claimed to be from W. Smith at teachers.org, calling for students to apply for an unspecified scholarship.  Opening the attached PDF pointed the reader to ecollegefitness.com.  This website has all kinds of open scholarship appeals, along with offers to purchase their e-books on fitness.

While this hits a couple of the red flags for scholarship fraud, it looks more like deceptive marketing.  If they had not used the word scholarship, it would resemble an enter-to-win marketing campaign, complete with a no-purchase-necessary entry link and a link to their fitness ebook store.  The language implies that they work with campus fitness centers; but when I interviewed Karin Ryndak at the Terry wellness center, she said that there was no business relationship with ecollegefitness.com and that although she was receiving these emails, she did not recommend the service to her athletes.

If you receive email from ecollegefitness.com or linking to their site, please treat them as spam.  For important pointers on detecting fraudulent scholarship offerings, please see this handy list of tips.  If you have an email that may be malicious but you're not sure, please always feel free to send it to me at craig.cox@dtcc.edu for analysis.