Scholarship scam used as pickup line targeting high school student

A high school senior thought a college scholarship was on the up and up, but she says the man's offer quickly turned inappropriate
October 30, 2013 3:15:12 PM PDT
A local high school is warning parents after a student was apparently misled into thinking that she had won a scholarship. That student's family says the person making the offer had ulterior motives.

La Marque ISD admits it did not follow proper procedure when it passed along the man's phone number to the girl. He apparently called there last week looking for her, offering what was supposed to be a $1,000 scholarship for her to attend Prairie View A&M.

That 17-year-old girl is a senior at La Marque High School, looking forward to college next year. We are not identifying her because of the nature of this case. Her mother says the suspect called the school last week, asking them give her a message from him about a scholarship. But that's not what he talked about when she called, as first reported by the Galveston County Daily News.

"He just was saying things that were just inappropriate," the girl's mother, Stephanie Halford said.

Halford says the man at first claimed he was helping deserving students get money for school. But then she tells us he started asking how she felt about dating older men, even citing scripture which he claimed encouraged that. He went on to tell the teen he had polled 10 boys at the school and that all said they would want to date her if given the chance.

"He said, 'Why do you think that is?' And she said, 'Well it's because I'm different.' And he said, 'No, it's because you're beautiful,' Halford said.

He told the girl he had been watching her for some time, recalling one specific time several months ago at a football game. At that point, the student cut short the conversation and suggested the man call her mother.

Mom and daughter are both worried that he's been stalking them. Not knowing who he is or what he looks like, they fear now for their safety.

Prairie View A&M says it had nothing to do with this person. The school district says it has put a heightened safety plan into action for the student. They've also admonished that school employee for not validating the legitimacy of the scholarship claim before passing it on to the student.

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