SCAM ALERT: SAT/ACT Scholastic Flunks the Scam Test

scamBeware a phone call from  “SAT/ACT Scholastic Achievement” or “College Level Exams” (or probably any of a number of other names).  It could lead to some scholastic sorrow.   If you get the call, you’ll be told that  (presumably pulled from marketing lists of kids who have taken the PSAT or similar)  their organization is offering “free” test preparation services “in partnership with the district” and your child already consented at school to participate in their program. All you have to do is give them your credit card info, which they won’t charge unless you don’t return the test prep materials.   If you don’t want to give them the info over the phone, no worries, the caller will direct you to their website (including collegelevelexam.org and SATACTCOLLEGETESTING.ORG, which are currently identical, or the first redirects to the second).  You are repeatedly assured that if, for any reason, you aren’t satisfied by the materials, you get a full refund.  In fact, their website states their refund policy ” All students will receive a 30 day money back guarantee with no questions asked. Simply return the materials within 30 days, and you will receive a refund!“.  Don’t believe it.   Numerous consumers have complained that this company won’t honor its refund policy.   Another tip-off:  30 days is hardly enough time to find out whether the $216 worth of prep materials actually work.

We urge caution about buying anything from this website.  The company is not affiliated with the Educational Testing Service, the company that owns Scholastic Achievement Test.  It’s allegedly owned by a guy named Joseph Tu.  He has created a site that makes it look official — with information about Student Aid, Student Loans and SAT exam schedules.  But it is all boilerplate info ripped from other sites.   Another red flag:  it has literally no information about the study materials they are selling.  It’s designed to lure you into believing that you are dealing with an officially sanctioned exam service.

Alert: It’s not an officially-sanctioned service.  Once they have your credit card info, they immediately charge $216.32 (not a hold a charge). If you call to complain about the charge, they will try to claim it is only a hold. but it’s definitely a charge.   According to numerous complaints to the BBB, they  routinely refuse delivery of people’s attempts to return the materials (DVDs) for a refund.  You will likely find that the package you receive will have a return label with a different PO Box number than the +4 on the ZIP code, both of which are different than the PO Box listed on the websites. It appears that they hide behind their ability to avoid returns of the materials to provide legal cover for not refunding the charges to those that (try to) send the materials back to them.   It would appear that this company makes it as difficult as possible for customers to return the materials as a basis for keeping the credit card charges.

It seems like your best bet is to avoid this firm completely.   If you get victimized by them, we recommend that you take the unopened package (be careful – they will address it the student, not the parents) to YOUR local post office (i.e. the one that serves your ZIP code) marked “Refused – Return to Sender” and explain to the postal clerk about the fraud, and asked them to scan it in as refused and that USPS accepted it back and give you a printed receipt to that effect.  We also strongly recommend that you dispute the charge with your credit card carrier.   Even if SAT/ACT refuses to accept your return, you can successfully dispute the charge by citing their “return policy” and showing the postage receipt of your attempt to return the materials.   That should be sufficient to get the charges reversed.

43 replies
  1. Keith E Anklam
    Keith E Anklam says:

    I just reviewed my CITI Card statement and found out that this company has been charging me 69.69 per month for the last 7 months. When I contacted CITI in May when the first charge appeared I was told I needed to try and resolve it with the merchant so I called them. They said they would take care of it and I believe the did in fact send me a refund check for the first charge. They have now stolen at least $419 from me through these fraudulent charges. I have filed a report with the WA State Attorney General’s Office of Consumer protection and reported them. I also called CITI again who said they will dispute it, issue me a new card and disable to rollover feature.I was issued a new card before but with out disabling the rollover feature so the company was able to charge my new card.

    Reply
  2. Justin Doss
    Justin Doss says:

    i also got scammed by this phone call. they told me that i returned it after the 30 days and that the disks were returned to me. i have not received anything back and the guy on the phone kept getting tongue twisted when i argued what he said. They told me i would receive a confirmation email and i never did. they told me one date to return it but apparently the date was wrong and then he told me when they received it but i checked the tracking # and it came back on a different day. I WAS ONLY CHARGED ONE TIME . PLEASE DO NOT buy from these people unless you plan on keeping the material. the phone number is 888-838-5858. it showed up as College Scores on my credit card statement. the return address i was given was PO Box 9022 Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91701. YOU WILL NOT GET YOUR MONEY BACK. PROCEED WITH CAUTION.

    Reply
  3. JOHN R ECKEN
    JOHN R ECKEN says:

    Same thing happened to me seemed legit, then son said he never asked for this. called and canceled but still received. Guy on phone was very rude canceled CC and had bank submit fraudulent complaint

    Reply
    • Thomas Que Lim
      Thomas Que Lim says:

      Same thing happened to me. I immediately returned the item with 4 regular stamps and if the value is not enough, they will take care of the rest as per their representative. After 3 weeks, they claimed that they have not received the CD’s.and unable to give refund. I made a dispute through my CC, 3 hours later, I got my money refunded. Thanks to my Citibank Credit Card

      Reply
  4. Bobby E Braun
    Bobby E Braun says:

    I wish I had seen all of these reviews before I was suckered in to this scam! Same story, received a call saying that they represented a company that could provide learning aids (DVD) for prearation for the ACT/SAT tests. A fee of $219.84 was billed to my credit card and the associate, Jay Clark, explained that after the testing was completed, simply return the DVDs and the fee would be reversed. Since they were a division of the College Board they could make this offer. He knew both of my son’s names (twins) and the high school that they attend. Sounded legit. I fell for it. Today, as I am looking at my credit card statement, I see a charge from College Level (877-842-5340) for $69.95. I called the number and spoke with another associate that at the end of the call seemed reluctant to give me his name, James Mills. His explanation of the current charge was that it covered a 5 year subscription to a website, TestingTutors.org, which would provide information on scholarships, college information and virtual tours of select colleges. ALL BS!! The website is a link to UNIVERSITY ACHIEVEMENT where they lure unsuspecting students/parents to the same scam that was described in the initial phone call. I called my credit card company and explained what had happened. From their records, it appears that I had signed up for some type of subscription. In order to prevent further monthly charges, I have closed this account. After reading the reviews above, I will be contacting the BBB and California Attorney General on Monday. Fellow parents – BEWARE. VERY CRAFTY SCAM.

    Reply
  5. donna seftel
    donna seftel says:

    I too was scammed by this thief in September 2016 5 weeks before the SATs. He called me over the phone and said my son signed up at his high school. He would only take the credit card # and not charge the $216.32 until after the 30 day money back guarantee period. He also said I could return the cds a week late if needed. I wasn’t sent any paperwork nor did I sign anything. no mention of the subsequent $69.95 monthly charges. I never opened the cds and sent them back with a call to this guy who I spoke with and he assured me my cards would not be charged and I could return anytime. A month or so later I received the envelope back that I paid postage for that said REFUSED! I called but did not get through. they hung up. I called my bank Chase who is still after 2-3 years looking into it. I even wrote to then Attorney general of California Kamala Harris who said they couldn’t do anything at that time. They do not represent private individuals in civil matters but if we do bring a lass action law suit then I would be most happy to participate as I am sometimes in Los Angeles. Please, someone! start a class action suit against this scammer.

    Reply
  6. Robert
    Robert says:

    I just go this call asking for the Credit card info. First clue that they are a scam, is that they are using a spoofed phone number from my local area.
    Stay away1

    Reply
  7. Indy Parent
    Indy Parent says:

    A COMPLETE SCAM. We filed a complaint today with the California Attorney General’s office.

    They called my husband in Oct. 2018 and said our son had signed up for SAT/ACT test prep. They knew our son’s name and the name of his high school. My husband stupidly gave these folks our credit card. We were charged $216.32 by University Preparation (PO Box 83, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91729) in October and mailed some CDs. We found out our son did not sign up for anything. We returned the CDs with a very formal letter and asked for a refund. When no refund was sent to our credit card, I called the 1-888-667-8431 number (which I’m sure by now has been changed) and actually got them to agree to send us a check (minus the postage) which they did. The check, which did not look like it was from a business, even cleared and did not bounce.

    Then starting in December and again in January, we were billed $69.95 by the same company with a different name. This time, the charge on our credit card was from College Level Testing (1-877-842-5340). When I called this number it rang and rang. After I hung up, I received three calls back but my caller ID said “PRIVATE CALLER.” The person left a message with a new number 1-888-611-8941. When I called, the person just said, “Hello and not College Level Testing.” I said we were charged for something we did not order. He had our name and address. I asked him to reimburse us.

    I was livid and decided to challenge the charge with our credit card company. I found out it was a recurring charge on our credit card that started in December. I had not yet received the January statement. We cancelled the credit card and ordered a new one. We filed a complaint right away with the California Attorney General’s office. This scam needs to be stopped ASAP.

    Reply
  8. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    ****If anyone is looking for these scam artists one of their call centers is located at 10370 Commerce Center, Suite 115 , Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730. There are employees and supposedly the manager named Omar there. Hopefully BBB or someone else will shut them down. ****

    Reply
  9. Ron
    Ron says:

    All this time I thought I was dealing with ets the parent company of the college board. College board needs to take legal action to stop this scam! I’m getting my money back one way or another!

    Reply
  10. Debra F
    Debra F says:

    the only way to stop this company is to file a complaint with the State of California Attorney General.. We were charged 69.95 for i don’t know how long. We never opened the package let alone get “access to a website”. totally fraudulent!!! we were able to get some of our money back through a dispute, but would like to get all the charges removed. I just filed my complaint with CA attorney general. the BBB seems useless at this point since there are numerous complaints but nothing has been done.
    here is the link to the CA attorney general to file a complaint. why file a complaint with the BBB when they are as helpless as we are!

    https://oag.ca.gov/contact/consumer-complaint-against-business-or-company

    Reply
    • donna
      donna says:

      I wrote a letter of complaint in sept 2016! Kamala Harris wrote back that she couldn’t do anything for a private person. it would have to be a class action lawsuit. He, Richard schwartz or Joseph Tu or whoever he/she is sent forged letters of agreement supposedly from me but that I had never seen nor signed. he even made up a phony yahoo account which I don’t have. this guy is slick. Chase bank won’t dismiss charges as fraud. it must be a dispute and he as merchant is a liar, so my credit is affected. I’m still disputing this 2-3 years later BUT even though I send everyone else’s complaints 33 plus with the same story, the bank says they an’t look at anything from a second party..here say. this guy is running a good scam. maybe we an get the FBI to look into him as part of the admissions scandel. an someone please start a class action?

      Reply
  11. James
    James says:

    the proprietor’s name is Richard Schwartz, the Federal Trade Commission is building a case against him for fraud.
    He has used multiple DBAs to defraud unsuspecting parents. CA attorney general has also been contacted by our school district

    SCHWARTZ RICHARD
    DBA : COLLEGE ADMIN TESTING
    12946 CARNESI DRIVE
    RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA 91739

    DBA : UNIVERSITY COLLEGE
    10370 COMMERCE CENTER DR
    #115
    RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA 91730

    his new website is
    https://universitycollegetesting.org/

    October 23, 2018
    by Ari Lazarus
    Consumer Education Specialist, FTC
    Recently, we heard about scams targeting parents of high school students preparing for college. The scammers claim to be from The College Board – the organization responsible for the PSAT and SAT tests. They call or email you, asking for credit card numbers so they can send PSAT prep materials that the student has supposedly requested. Often the scammers have the student’s name, address and phone number – making them seem more believable. Except your student didn’t ask for materials, and it’s not this group calling.

    Reply
  12. Stephanie
    Stephanie says:

    The advice to file a dispute through your bank was the best advise yet. Worked like a charm! Thank you. I really hope someone stops this company from scamming so many innocent individuals who are only trying to help their children succeed. Such a shame.

    Reply
    • Aimee
      Aimee says:

      Does anyone know the name of the materials that are sent? I need that info to file a dispute and I can’t remember because I opened them immediately and put them right in a return mail package. The company acknowledges that I returned the materials on time and still won’t credit my account.

      Reply
    • Lisa Halsey
      Lisa Halsey says:

      I was scammed as well in the same manner. I realized it after I ordered the CDs. I refused delivery and filed a claim with my credit card company. I never got my money back. These scammers produced fictitious log-in and practice test scores.

      Reply
  13. Christy Reppeto
    Christy Reppeto says:

    Same Scam-
    First the CD’s charged after I accepted the offer to “try them for free for 30 days”. Then they tried to withhold an overnight fee when they actually sent a check to refund the charge. Now I am getting $69.95 charge which I immediately demanded be voided-I did not want to wait on a check. Says he voided it, we will see….

    Reply
  14. Cristina
    Cristina says:

    Same! My husband fell victim of this scam just this month! He asked my daughter if she inquired about some study material for the SAT’s. To make a long story short. Our cc was charged for $216.32. Red flag…before we even received the cd’s, before the 30 day trail. I called them right away. The man on the phone said they can’t reverse the charges that they will send us our refund in a form of a check, once they receive the cd’s back. He gave us an address to send it back. I sent it back the next day with tracking. Called them 2 days later, they said they received it and the check was in the mail. One week later, no check! Called them again, this time this man said we need to be patient. I also asked him what their business address was, he gave me a totally different address from the one he gave me to return the material to. This time he gave me PO. Box 83, Rancho Cucamunga. Another red flag! My next call was to my bank! Reversed the charge and closed that account due to fraud.

    Reply
  15. Keith E Anklam
    Keith E Anklam says:

    I just go nailed on this yesterday because my daughter did take the psat last year and was trying to schedule SATs and she had ordered the material but when she got home I asked her about it she hadn’t. I called the customer service number she had given me and a man answered and i told him I wanted to cancel the transaction he said he would take care of it and when I told him I would contact the credit card service number he said “you don’t have to do that, we can take care of it here.” I the CITI card I gave them had a charge pending for 216.00. but they said they could not dispute it while it was still pending and I had them cancel the card and send a new one.

    Reply
  16. Alison R Corcoran
    Alison R Corcoran says:

    I just filed another complaint with the BBB. Thank you for using the Better Business Bureau’s Online Complaint System.
    Your complaint has been assigned case # 646962.

    Reply
  17. TN Resident
    TN Resident says:

    SCAM ALERT!!!! I received a call from this company on 3/11/18 stating my child signed up for this at school. My daughter knew nothing about that. When she told me the cost I told her I wasn’t comfortable giving my credit card information to someone I do not know for a program I’m not familiar with..she immediately hung up. What reputable company would do that?

    Reply
  18. Valerie Ladd
    Valerie Ladd says:

    I was charged $69.95 today and I returned the disc a month ago. I contacted 800-536-4641 and was told the charge was for on line access. I have never received any online access to anything, I told him that I had proof they are a scam and that they charged my card without permission and wanted my money refunded on my card today. They sent me a refund check the last time for $15 less than what I paid. Within 10 minutes of the time I talked to them the charge was reversed in my account.
    Good Luck to anyone dealing with this.

    Reply
  19. Kandace
    Kandace says:

    Just a thought for all who have been scammed by this company, you should all band together and file a class action lawsuit. This scam has been going on for so long and they keep revamping to scam even more people who just want what is best for their children. The only way to stop them is to make them pay literally. The reason they continue is they know most people don’t like to admit they fell for this scam. I understand that some have reported them to the BBB and that is great! However, it has not deterred them and they keep changing their company name, address, etc. In order to stop predators such as this is you have to take away their anonymity and their funding. Taking it to a reputable news agency would make people aware of this scam and possibly get others to join in a class action law suit. You guys are awesome for coming forward on here and telling your story so that others will not fall prey. You have certainly made me aware and I will be sharing this on my Facebook page. Goodluck to you all.

    Reply
  20. Nancy
    Nancy says:

    Same here! Someone named Maria called me on 2/14/18 with the same story. She sounded legit. When she told me she needed my credit card for a security deposit, I told her I wasn’t interested. Glad I didn’t give out my info! What a headache, I don’t know how they’re still getting away with this!!

    Reply
  21. JOEL HATCH
    JOEL HATCH says:

    SCAM SCAM SCAM. Dittos to the previous posts.They’re still doing their misrepresentations, double billing and flim-flam to separate you from your money. DON’T BELIEVE THEM!

    Reply
  22. Carrie Paton
    Carrie Paton says:

    Lies, lies, lies…it’s all lies!!! Lily Ann is a plant. This is a SCAM at it’s finest. I have read negative reviews going back to 2013. How they keep this up is brilliant. They change names or their organization, change websites. Pray on parents’ willingness to give their child an advantage/leg up to get good scores on college placement exams. How they have not been caught and shut down by now is beyond me. It’s the same story over and over. The charge your card $216.32, unless you return the prep materials within 30 days. Try to return them, they are not accepted, or accepted on day 31. Thereafter, you card will be charged $69.95, which apparently you are agreeing to when you accept them sending you the materials in the first place. Don’t do it!

    Reply
  23. LILY ANN
    LILY ANN says:

    I RECEIVED A PHONE CALL AND WENT THROUGH AND GOT THE SYSTEM. TO MY CHILD AND I IT IS GREAT. SHE GOT A GREAT SCORE ON HER TEST AND THIS IS THE ONLY PROGRAM WE USED. WE WENT AHEAD AND BOUGHT IT FOR THE 216.32 AND MY YOUNGER CHILD WILL BE USING IT NEXT YEAR. I WOULD RECOMMEND GIVING THE PROGRAM A GO.

    Reply
  24. Rene Flynn
    Rene Flynn says:

    I too fell vitcum of this company. After recieveing the cd’s on October 11, 2016 and returning the material to the PO Box registered mail they did refund my CC $216.32 on November 14, 2016. But starting December 6, 2016 they have charged my CC $69.95 every month since. I have filed another dispute with my CC company and they have ensured me I will receive a full refund. This company goes by many names but when you call they will not return your phone calls. Watch your CC statements. So far they have charged my CC a reccuring charge for a total of $559.59 for material I returned in October of 2016.

    Reply
  25. charlie caldwell
    charlie caldwell says:

    Actaact Scholastic actually gave me a bad California and PO Box# if anyone could give a phone number or an address other than PO Box 83 /Rancho Cucamonga. Ca. Please give it to me and any other information I can use and give to the BBB in California to investigate this matter.

    Reply
    • Rene Flynn
      Rene Flynn says:

      Charlie, the address I returned the CD’s was P.O Box #9352 Alta Loma, CA 91701.
      The owner of this scam company is Joseph Tu. Their website is http://www.collegelevelexams.org

      Contact : 800-536-4641 and address P.O Box #9352 Alta Loma, CA 91701

      Good luck and watch your CC statements. They will charge your card every month for $69.95.

      Reply
    • Rene Flynn
      Rene Flynn says:

      Charlie, after doing more research I found the company and addres that is currently listed on BBB. I also file a complaint with the BBB. They were originally called college level exams but have changed the name ad website to https://www.satacttesting.org

      Contact : 888-611-8941 and address 1919 Austin Ct. Claremont, CA. 91711 USA.

      Reply
  26. Lori
    Lori says:

    I always thought that it could never happen to me but, it did. I fell for this scam hook, line, and sinker. These scammers pray upon that fact that a parent wants to give their child all the tools for success possible. I called as soon as they charged my credit card and was told I would be refunded the money. My son told me he didn’t need or want the material so I mailed it back unopened within 2 weeks. I sent it certified so I would have a record of when they received it. The disks apparently took a slow boat from China because it took 15 days to get back to them. They signed my return on the 31 day. When I called I was told I didn’t return them on time so good luck. I have always been skeptical of phone solicitation but NEVER AGAIN.

    Reply
  27. Marsha k
    Marsha k says:

    I received a phone call from a rep with this organization. I ordered the cd’s based on the information she explained to me, I thought it was a legitimate company and a good deal. We rec’d the cd’s and my daughter started using them a week later. She didn’t think they were any good and we decided to return them. They were returned, but sat at the PO for several days and then we’re refused. I called to check on my refund and was told the cd’s were not returned within 30 days- it was 31 days. They refused to issue a refund and then went on to charge me an additional 69.95 monthly charge. I have called several times but they refuse to refund my money. They hang up now when I call. I have tried to dispute the charges with the credit card company ( TD Ameritrade) but this has been unsuccessful as well.

    Reply
  28. Chuck Winn
    Chuck Winn says:

    I also received a phone call from this guy name Bryan. He said he is calling from College Board that my kid signed up for the Prep Course SAT/ACT with the school. He demanded that I pay the security for $199 in order to get the DVD to study for free within 30 days. The payment is a a guarantee that the kid will not ruin the DVD and will return the materials within 30 days if we are not satisfied. I told him that I have to check with my kid first before I sign up for anything. He was very pushy and tricked me that if I do not make the payment within today, he will put the name back to waiting list which will delay the delivery for the materials. I told him that on the caller ID it shows Arroyo Grande CA which has nothing to do with College Board, he said the college board divide areas into districts and he is an area district. It also gives me a red flag that this guy is very pushy to demand payments. I have a doubt that usually College Board will never do this kind of thing. They are an organization that administers Exams. So I told him that I will bypass and will not do the payments, he said that if I want to make payments I can go to the website : collegelevelexam.org. Luckily I did not pay him as he demanded. When I kid returns home, I just checked with her, she went to the computer and within one minute she said this website is a scam. I am proud of her and you should be aware of this scam.

    Reply

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