Scammers making off $1 Billion In Financial Aid Money - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Scammers making off $1 Billion In Financial Aid Money

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 Scammers are making off with money intended to help students attend college. 

They're stealing identities from those who qualify for aid or borrowing them to apply for financial aid. According to U.S. Postal Inspector William Zemblidge, "By doing that, you're receiving financial aid or grants that are given to you and ultimately the monies would come into a location or an address that was controlled by the suspects or the people involved in the ring."

It's a growing problem across the nation. Last year 12 million students applied for financial aid and more than 126,000 of those applications were flagged as potential scammers.

 Sometimes students apply for money without ever intending to go to school. Between 2007 and 2010, the amount of Pell Grant money going to fraud skyrocketed from 400 million to 1 billions.

Pell Grants are an easy target because they don't need to be repaid like a student loan and they require no credit check. Once the money is distributed, a student and do whatever he or she pleased, including leave school.

The Scholarship Fraud Prevention Act has created a fraud awareness partnership between the U.S. Department of Education and the Federal Trade Commission.

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