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A Little Bit Goes a Long Way


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It’s amazing what criminals can do with just a few bits of incomplete personal data. According to an article published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle, a little bit of information went a long way towards one fraudster gaining $52,000 in student loan funds he did not deserve.


The story states that more than 100 law and medical students from the graduating class of 2013 at two Georgia universities were victimized by two Atlantans who conspired to steal their identities with the intent to apply for student loans. (What a way to start out life after graduation. Welcome to the real world!)


One of the co-conspirators obtained the student names, partial Social Security numbers and birth dates and then solicited the help of another partner in crime who had access to credit reporting databases through her job. Together, they were able to come up with enough information to apply for $400,000 worth of student loans. (Well, that certainly seemed easy.)


Here’s how the scheme worked. In order to approve the student loan applications, the bank required student transcripts. The fraudster who originally obtained the student names used personal identifiers to gain access to passwords on one of the university’s online portals. Once he was in, the criminal ordered student transcripts and had them mailed to a few more alleged associates, who would forward the documents on to the scam’s mastermind once received.Scissors-32x32.png

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