Financial Aid Fraud: Are you a Victim?
Planning a career and starting college are two of the most important decisions a personal will make in life. These choices will direct a person’s future. This time can be one of happiness and excitement but also one of stress. Going to school full time, maintaining a job and sometimes even a family, is a hard schedule to juggle for anyone. These stresses are what a lot of college students face. It’s almost inconceivable to imagine adding to that finding out someone has stolen your identity and with it, your life. Victims of such fraud are subject to many financial problems like bad credit, debt, and denial on loans or even banking transactions. As a college student, financial aid can be among these financial nightmares.
Could I Become a Victim of Financial Aid Fraud?
No matter which state you live in, the odds are high that there are at least a few people who are currently in the process of committing financial aid fraud. Therefore, it is vital to make sure that you protect your personal information at all times. If one of these scam artists is able to gather enough information about you, it will be easy for them to apply for financial aid in your name. Many online colleges do not have a procedure in place for verifying the identity of applicants, and this makes it easy for someone to receive a lot of money from a loan that can ruin your credit.
What if I Suspect Someone of Financial Aid Fraud?
When someone receives financial aid money using fraudulent methods, they are hurting both the individual whose identity they stole and the federal government. Therefore, if you suspect that someone is running a financial aid fraud ring, you need to blow the whistle on them. If you do not want to be personally involved in the court proceedings, you should contact a whistleblower attorney who works specifically on cases of fraud that are committed against the government. They will recover as large a share of the stolen funds as possible, and will protect your rights also. With the False Claims Act, it’s easier for people with knowledge of fraud against the government to come forward and be provided a level of protection.
How Will I Know Fraud Against My Identity?
The best way that you can protect your financial future is to keep a close eye on your credit report. After all, any new line of credit that is opened will be listed on your credit report within a relatively short period of time. If you see a credit line listed that you did not apply for, you should immediately contact the creditor to determine what has happened. Additionally, you should pay close attention to your mail and phone calls to look for any signs of identity fraud. For example, if you get a phone call from someone who sounds like a debt collector, it is important to speak with them so that you can determine if someone has fraudulently opened up an account in your name.
Dealing with financial aid fraud can take time, but you should eventually be able to prove that you did not actually request the loan. Make sure that you fully cooperate with any legal investigations, and you should also consider discussing the situation with a whistle-blower attorney if you have any idea who might be responsible for the fraudulent activity.
Lisa Coleman writes as a financial adviser in the area of financial aid fraud to help bring awareness to this subject. With the rate that colleges are growing and with it the student community, it’s an important legal area that is on the rise. Public education of this kind of fraudulent activity is one way to help stop or prevent it, but legal firms like Goldberg Kohn LTD, a whistleblower attorney group, can too. They have the experience and are committed to helping you fight fraud against the government and protect your rights.