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California community colleges flag broad attempted aid scam

Authorities have detected more than 65,000 fake financial aid applications to California community colleges, which are believed to be attempts at large-scale financial aid fraud. The Los Angeles Times reports on Thursday that fraudulent applications were first filed on most of the system’s 116 campuses-time applicants over the age of 30 and earning less than $ 40,000. Student aid officials have applied the application with regular checks of federal financial aid records while faculty members are flagging an unusual surge in class enrollment suspected of being caused by fake students or bots. Detected. Or did 60,000 additional older adult students actually try to apply to a community college here in the last few months? “last week. Since then, Perry said the number of suspected fake applications has exceeded 65,000. He said he believed the problem was caught before a significant amount of aid was distributed to the scammers. Officials at California community colleges did not say whether financial assistance was paid to fake students. A system receiving over $ 1.6 billion in emergency COVID-19 bailouts for low-income students is under investigation. The US Department of Education’s Inspector General is also investigating and declined to comment. A fake application was detected on 105 campuses. Maximum numbers were reported in Cerritos, Pasadena, Caffey, Merced and Antelope Valley. Two professors at San Joaquin Delta University in Stockton said they were suspicious when they learned of the surge in online class enrollment in early August. Their major. Later, they found that many of the suspicious students did not have a phone number or had an out-of-state area code. We believe that more than two-thirds of her 60 class members are bots. “The hardest part of all this is that it’s not doing as well as we thought it would be,” said Valerie Lundy-Wagner, Interim Vice President of Digital Innovation and Infrastructure at the University, what he needs on Monday. Announced stricter security measures, including. Monday’s report of alleged and confirmed cases of registration and financial assistance fraud. She added that about 20% of recent traffic on the main page of college online applications was “malicious bot-related”, much of which was detected by software installed by the college system in July. rice field.

Authorities have detected more than 65,000 fake financial aid applications to California community colleges, believed to be a large-scale attempted financial aid fraud.

The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday that fraudulent applications were filed on most of the system’s 116 campuses on behalf of first-time applicants over the age of 30 and earning less than $ 40,000. Student aid officials detected the application on a regular check of federal financial aid records, but faculty and staff flagged an unusual surge in class enrollment suspected to have been caused by fake students or bots. Was standing up.

“In the last few months, did 60,000 older adult students actually try to apply for a community college here, or did they not?” The California Student Assistance Commission warned university officials about the issue last week.

Since then, Perry said the number of suspected fake applications has exceeded 65,000. He said he believed the problem was caught before a significant amount of aid was distributed to the scammers.

California community college officials did not say whether fake students were paid financial assistance. A system receiving over $ 1.6 billion in emergency COVID-19 bailouts for low-income students is under investigation.

The US Department of Education’s Inspector General is also investigating and declined to comment.

Fake applications were detected on 105 campuses. Maximum numbers were reported in Cerritos, Pasadena, Caffey, Merced and Antelope Valley.

Two professors at San Joaquin Delta University in Stockton are skeptical of the surge in online class enrollment in early August, including many students taking non-major classes. Said that. They later realized that many of the suspicious students did not have a phone number or had an out-of-state area code.

“Despite the pandemic, we seemed to be making a comeback,” said Tara Cuslidge-Staiano, a professor of journalism who believes that more than two-thirds of her 60 class members are bots. Said. “The hardest part of all this is that it’s not doing as well as you might think.”

Valerie Lundy-Wagner, Interim Vice President of Digital Innovation and Infrastructure at the University, announced on Monday more stringent security measures, including a necessary monthly report of alleged registration and financial aid fraud cases.

She added that about 20% of recent traffic on the main page of college online applications was “malicious bot-related”, much of which was detected by software installed by the college system in July. rice field.

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