Beware: Cyber crooks are using stolen information to get student loans in your name

ATLANTA — Cybersecurity specialists say that criminals are using college students’ information to obtain fraudulent student loans. Young people are often targeted because most have not frozen their credit.

Channel 2′s Dave Huddleston spoke with local students to get their take on this increasingly popular scam.

“What? That is so shady,” said student Min Jeong.

That was Jeong’s reaction when she was told that thieves on the dark web are stealing students’ personal information to take out tens of thousands of dollars in loans.

“That’s absolutely insane; that’s absolutely wrong,” said student Laura Ehieze.

A Georgia State University professor, David Maimon, specializes in cyber crimes. He goes undercover to communicate with crooks, and that’s how he learned about this new scam.

“That is a huge issue we are seeing right now, and it started at the beginning of August,” said Maimon.

Maimon said the best way to protect yourself is to lock and freeze your credit and personal information.

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“Strongly recommend parents of students absolutely make sure their students have all those services in order to simply prevent them from falling victim to those crimes,” said Maimon.

Consumer Advisor Clark Howard said there are websites like Credit Karma that can help you lock your credit for free. Students won’t have to pay back the massive loans, but it can take months to sort it all out. He said their credit score could take a big hit — just as they are starting out.