(WTVO) — Experts are warning that college students returning to class is the perfect time for scammers to strike.

With all the excitement that starting a new school year brings, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is reminding college students to overlook the potential risks of scammers.

“There has been a surge this year in the contacts that are being made, both on campus and online,” said Dennis Horton, director of the BBB.

Scammers are targeting unsuspecting students, many of whom are getting their first credit cards, by offering phony deals designed to access personal information.

“So, what they do is to offer what turn out to be fake credit cards, but in the application process, they are getting everything they need for identity theft, including name, birthdate, social security number, all the information that can later be used for nefarious purposes,” Horton said.

Another common scheme to look out for is scammers posing as university officials offering fake tuition cuts via e-mail.

“Very often, they use the term financial department or financial aid. ‘We have to update our records can you provide your name, address,’ and all the information they can use later for identity theft,” Horton said.

The BBB advises students to send their personal mail items to a secure home address instead of the dorm of university mailing system. As for students looking to apply for credit cards, they should contact the company directly and avoid any linked offers sent to them.