Arizona has seen a massive increase in college financial aid fraud, and this is being caused by the lax guidelines that are in place for most online programs. In fact, just one group of scam artists were able to receive $88,000 in financial aid from Rio Salado College that was not used to pay for school related items. According to the police report, there were two people behind the scam, and they used stolen personal information from inmates at the Arizona State Prison Complex-Perryville to apply for more than $153,000 in financial aid.
Fortunately, the people behind the Rio Salado College scam were caught and prosecuted. More than 200 people have faced charges for financial aid fraud in Arizona since 2005, but experts believe that there are still several hundred people who have not been caught yet. Hopefully, this crime will begin to receive more attention from law enforcement officials before it becomes widespread.