Follow one generall rule: if you have to pay money to receive a scholarship; it is probably a scam.
Each year as students and parents search to find money for college, thousands fall victim to scams which result in the loss of more than $100 million annually. Beware of scholarships with application fees, financial aid seminars that are advance-fee loan scams or sales pitches, and scholarship matching companies that promise guaranteed scholarships. Scams often disguise themselves as legitimate government agencies, grant foundations, educational lenders, and scholarship matching services. Don’t let official sounding names fool you. Just because an organization’s name includes words such as national, federal, foundation, and administration does not mean that are legit.
Avoid scholarship matching services who will apply for scholarships for you. Realistically, you are going to need to write an essay or find recommendations; no organization can do that for you. Avoid time sensitive scholarships. Scholarships have deadlines for applications and are not awarded on a first come first serve basis. Scholarships take into account family income, academic achievement, cultural background, community service, disabilities, religion, etc., not how quickly you can mail in your material.
Overall, trust your instincts. If you have even the slightest reservation about a scholarship, walk away. No amount of caution is too much when protecting yourself your scams.