Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

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February 11, 2013

Internet scams target college applicants

— College-bound students interested in applying for student loans should be aware of Web sites that may not be on the “up and up,” according to Ripley County Sheriff’s Office personnel Feb. 11.

“It was reported to the sheriff’s office a high school student logged into a site that ended in “.com” instead of “.gov” and was scammed for $80.” All the characters in front of .com match the Web address for FAFSA.ed.gov, which is a free site.

Other sites may offer to help find money for college. The companies make no effort to find grants or scholarships, but charge fees. School guidance counselors, as well as law enforcement, try to stay ahead of these scams, but aren’t always successful. The sheriff’s office encourages citizens to investigate any site, and ask questions prior to doing business with any Internet company.

An important detail is to read the disclaimer information at the bottom of the Web site’s home page. Area residents with information on scams or details helpful to the public should reach out to local law enforcement authorities or media outlets.

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