College bound students interested in applying for student loans should be aware of websites that may not be on the “up and up.” It was reported to the Ripley County 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. FAFSA.ed.gov is a free site. Other sites may allege to help find money for college, but the companies make no effort to find grants or scholarships, but charge a fee. 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 you 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 main page on a website.
If you have any information on scams, or information that is helpful to the public, reach out to your local law enforcement authority, or media outlet.