FRANKFORT, Ky. – Attorney General Daniel Cameron and the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) joined forces today to alert Kentucky consumers to an identity theft scam involving student loan applications and ‘financial aid.
The attorney general’s office and KHEAA have seen an increase in the number of crooks attempting to apply for student loans and financial aid using fraudulently obtained personal information, including names, addresses and social security numbers. The scammer may attempt to obtain the funds from education loans and then spend them for other purposes. Identity theft loan scams can damage your credit history and potentially make a consumer responsible for paying off the loan. Fortunately, no fraudulent student loans have been paid directly to the crooks through the KHEAA. There are many checks in place with KHEAA and its suppliers and school partners to ensure that no scammer is able to obtain fraudulent funds. Immediately after identifying an attempted fraudulent activity involving a consumer’s personal information, KHEAA stops the application process and begins the process to remove the invalid entry from the consumer’s credit report.
“As technology evolves, it becomes easier for crooks to conduct identity theft operations and take advantage of the personal information of others, and student loan scams are frequently used to carry out this type of fraud. fraud, ”Attorney General Cameron said. “We urge consumers to closely and regularly monitor their credit reports and immediately report to our office ag.ky.gov/scams and KHEAA any suspicion of identity theft involving student loans.”
“We are happy to work with the Attorney General’s office and prevent any loans from being issued as a result of identity theft. KHEAA places the highest importance on protecting the accuracy and validity of a consumer’s credit information, ”noted Eugene Hutchins, Executive Director of KHEAA.
If you believe you are a victim of identity theft, the Attorney General’s Office and KHEAA recommend following these tips:
• Act quickly. Recovery after identity theft is usually easier if you act as soon as you learn that you are a victim.
• Report it. Report suspected identity theft to the Attorney General’s office at ag.ky.gov/scams and to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at www.identitytheft.gov.
• Stop applying for a loan. If you believe a scammer has used your personal information to apply for a student loan through KHEAA, report it by calling 800-988-6333 or emailing [email protected]
• Monitor your credit. Place a free fraud alert on your credit report by contacting the major credit reporting agencies (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax) and carefully review your credit report. You are entitled to a free report from each major credit reporting agency each year, which you can access by visiting annualcreditreport.com. Due to the increase in fraud during the COVID pandemic, consumers are currently entitled to a free weekly credit report.
The FTC maintains an identity theft website with additional resources for victims of identity theft. You can also visit ag.ky.gov/identity-theft for more information.