University of Southern Indiana
Student Financial Assistance
Reporting Financial Aid Fraud

If I Suspect Student Financial Aid Fraud What Should I Do?
You can help ensure the fair and equitable treatment of all financial aid applicants by reporting suspected federal financial aid fraud to the U.S. Department of Education Office of the Inspector General.

If you suspect that a scholarship offer is a scam, please report it to the Federal Trade Commission.

Identity Theft

Why Should I Safeguard My Student Aid Information?
Criminals steal personal data such as names, telephone numbers, Social Security numbers, and bank and credit card information. Using the stolen data, the criminal can fraudulently obtain credit cards, buy items over the Internet, and even establish cellular phone accounts.  Complaints to the Federal Trade Commission about identity theft have doubled each year since the Commission began compiling its complaint database.

Reduce Your Risk
  • Apply for federal student aid by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at
  • When completing the FAFSA electronically, remember to exit the application, log out and close the browser.
  • Keep your U.S. Department of Education (ED) PIN in a secure place.
  • Don’t reveal your PIN to anyone, even if that person is helping you fill out the FAFSA. The only time you should be using your PIN is when you are on ED Web sites, which are secure.
  • Review your financial aid award documents and keep track of the amount of aid applied for and awarded.
  • Shred receipts and copies of documents with personal information if they are no longer needed.
  • Immediately report all lost or stolen identification to the issuer.

How The Government Keeps Your Information Safe
ED cares about the privacy of your personal information. The information you share with us via our secure Web sites goes through a process called encryption. Encryption uses a mathematical formula to scramble your data into a format that is unreadable by anyone who might intercept it. This is how we do our part to keep your information safe—but you need to do yours as well.

Report Identity Theft
If you become a victim of identity theft or suspect that your student information has been stolen, contact the appropriate agencies:
U.S. Department of Education
Office of Inspector General Hotline
1-800-MIS-USED (1-800-647-8733)
complain online:

Federal Trade Commission
1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338)
complain online:

Social Security Administration

Equifax Credit Bureau

Experian Information Solutions (Formerly TRW)

TransUnion Credit Bureau

For more information on identity theft see phishing.

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