The FBI has issued a warning that fraudsters may be targeting people who want to participate in the Federal Student Aid program to steal their personal information, payment details, and money. The program aims to help student loan recipients manage their debts by deducting $10,000 to $20,000 from their loans.
“Cybercriminals and fraudsters may purport to offer entrance into the Federal Student Loan Forgiveness program, contacting potential victims via phone, email, mail, text, websites or other online chat services. Cybercriminals and fraudsters use their schemes to receive payment for services they will not provide or collect victim information they can then use to facilitate a variety of other crimes,” according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
In addition, it was found that the application for the federal student aid program is free of charge and any payment requests for enrollment or processing of the application should be ignored. Furthermore, during the first phase of the application, users are not required to log into any accounts or upload personal or financial documents.
It then provided a list of approved email addresses that will be used in the next phase to request additional information and documents, including [email protected], norep[email protected], and [email protected].
Finally, it stated that the US government will not send notifications, so emails, phone calls, or text messages directing recipients to alleged application forms are attempts to defraud them. The only official way to apply is through the studentaid.gov website.
The sources for this piece include an article in BleepingComputer.