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Scholarship Scams. Avoiding Scholarship Scams, Phishing & Identity Theft at All Cost. Common Aid Programs Federal Pell Grant Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (SMART)

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Scholarship Scams

Avoiding Scholarship Scams,

Phishing & Identity Theft at AllCost


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  • Common Aid Programs

  • Federal Pell Grant

  • Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG)

  • National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (SMART)

  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

  • Minnesota State Grant

  • Federal Perkins Loan

  • Federal/State Work-Study

  • Stafford Loans

  • PLUS Loans

  • SELF Loans

  • Alternative Loans

Common Financial Aid Programs


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  • Scholarship Resources

  • Colleges

  • High School

  • Private business scholarships

  • Civic organization scholarships

  • Religious groups

  • Local library resources

  • Place of employment

Scholarship Resources


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  • Avoid scholarship scams

  • For information and tips to avoid scholarship scams:

    www.ag.state.mn.us/consumer/College Students.htm

  • Federal Trade Commission: www.ftc.gov/ftc/consumer.htm

  • U. S. Department of Education: www.studentaid.ed.gov

Avoid Scholarship Scams


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Scam

WARNING!


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  • Older Schemes:

    • Paid Search Services

    • Scholarships For Profit

    • Claims Made:

      • “You can’t get this info anywhere else”

      • “We’ll do all the work”

  • More Recent:

    • Financial Aid “Seminars”

      • General, common-sense info to group, then one-on-one sales pitch

      • Claims include “the process is too complicated; you need our help”

What types of questionable practices are out there?


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View with caution any service that requires you to pay

Report Scams

While most scholarship services are legitimate, some may be fraudulent and might charge a lot of money for little information.

Avoid Scholarship Scams


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Phishing

WARNING!


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Use of social engineering and technical subterfuge to steal consumers' personal identity data and financial account credentials.

What is phishing?


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Phishing Prevention


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  • Always ensure you're using a secure Web site when submitting credit card or other sensitive information via your Web browser

    • To make sure you're on a secure Web server, check the beginning of the Web address in your browser’s address bar - it should be "https://" rather than just "http://"

  • Avoid filling out forms in e-mail messages that ask for personal financial information

    • You should only communicate information such as credit card numbers or account information via a secure Web site or the telephone

Phishing Prevention


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  • Regularly log into your online accounts credit card or other sensitive information via your Web browser

    • Don't leave it for as long as a month before you check each account

  • Regularly check your bank, credit and debit card statements to ensure that all transactions are legitimate

    • If anything is suspicious, contact your bank and all card issuers

  • Ensure that your browser is up to date and security patches applied

  • Consider installing a Web browser tool bar to help protect you from known phishing fraud Web sites

Phishing Prevention


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  • Be suspicious of any e-mail with urgent requests for personal financial information

    • Unless e-mail is digitally signed, you can't be sure it wasn't forged or “spoofed”

    • Phishers typically include upsetting or exciting (but false) statements in e-mails to get people to react immediately

    • They typically ask for info such as usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, etc.

    • Phisher e-mails are typically NOT personalized, while valid messages from your bank or e-commerce company generally are

What Can be Done?


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Identity Theft personal financial information

WARNING!


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When someone, without lawful authority, knowingly transfers or uses a “means of identification” of another person with the intent to commit, or aid or abet, any unlawful activity that violates federal law, or that constitutes a felony under any state or local law.

  • Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998

  • 18 USC § 1028a (7)

Identity Theft – What is it?


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  • What is the problem? transfers or uses a “means of identification” of another person with the intent to commit, or aid or abet, any unlawful activity that violates federal law, or that constitutes a felony under any state or local law.

    • Fastest growing crime in the country

    • 25 million victims, 10 million in 2004

    • Sheer numbers swamp law enforcement

A review of the problem


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  • What’s the harm? transfers or uses a “means of identification” of another person with the intent to commit, or aid or abet, any unlawful activity that violates federal law, or that constitutes a felony under any state or local law.

    • 600 hours spent to restore identity and credit

    • $1,400 out-of-pocket costs to victim

    • $16,000 in lost productivity of victim

    • $40,000-$92,000 business community losses per stolen identity

      Source: Identity Theft Resource Center

Further thoughts on the problem


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  • Dumpster divers transfers or uses a “means of identification” of another person with the intent to commit, or aid or abet, any unlawful activity that violates federal law, or that constitutes a felony under any state or local law.

  • Mail thieves

  • Burglary and personal theft

  • Insider compromises

  • Phishing

  • Internet sources and hacking

How do they get the information?


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  • Drop outgoing mail in a USPS box, not your home mailbox transfers or uses a “means of identification” of another person with the intent to commit, or aid or abet, any unlawful activity that violates federal law, or that constitutes a felony under any state or local law.

  • Limit the number of credit cards you carry

  • Don’t carry your Social Security card

  • We DO NOT know who might look through our trash

  • Shred sensitive documents

  • Secure shred barrels and make sure that proper handling procedures are in place

Reducing risk


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