Using an updated version of an old ruse, thieves target college students who applied for short-term student loans.

Who Is It Targeting: College students in the Waco, Texas area

What Is It:  By some method still unknown to local authorities at this time, scammers have managed to gain access to lists of students in the Waco area who applied for student loans recently, and have used that list to conduct scam calls.  They call students who’ve recently applied for some sort of student aid, claiming that they needed to start paying off their FAFSA loans and instructing them to begin payment by mailing iTunes gift cards.  The fact that the students recently applied for loans helped scammers lower the levels of skepticism they might ordinarily contend with on such calls. After the student sent off the cards, the scammer disappears with the cash.

What Are They After: iTunes Gift Cards, Pre-Paid Debit Cards, Wire Transfers

How Can You Avoid It:  Never pay off a bill with a pre paid gift or cash card of any kind.  Legitimate bills will always be paid via check, money order, or bank transfer.  Anytime a debt collector asks for payment via cash or gift card, it is because they want the payment to be untraceable (i.e. it’s a criminal attempting to scam you and get away).  Always ask for a written statement to be sent to you for any bill you don’t recognize and immediately be cautious anytime you receive an unsolicited phone call to collect on a debt.

Anyone can be a victim of identity theft, anyone can use our services and anyone can help us help others. If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, please contact us for free assistance at (888) 400-5530.  If you found this information useful, please consider donating to the Identity Theft Resource Center to help us keep our services free to the public.