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On Nov. 5, 2000, Congress passed the Scholarship Fraud Prevention Act to enhance protection against fraud in student financial assistance establishing stricter sentencing guidelines for criminal financial aid fraud.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, perpetrators of financial aid fraud often use the following lines to sell their scholarship services; students should avoid any scholarship service or website that says the following:

  • “This scholarship is guaranteed or your money back.”
  • “You can’t get this information anywhere else.”
  • “I just need your credit card or bank account number to hold this scholarship”
  • “We will do all the work.”
  • “This scholarship will cost some money.”
  • “You have been selected by a ‘national foundation’ to receive scholarship” or “You are a finalist” in a contest you never entered.

If you believe you have been the victim of scholarship fraud, wish to file a complaint or want more information, call 877-FTC-HELP or visit www.ftc.gov/scholarshipscams