Hard Knocks University

Young casual woman with laptop and tablet outdoors. Female student preparing for exams with computer, books and coffee in the park. Education and entering the university concept, crop, copy space.

Fraudsters are a deceptive bunch. And what happened to Katie Hoffman shows how endless their tricks are. Hoffman, a doctoral student at University of Nevada in Las Vegas had been working hard to obtain her occupational therapy degree, academically and financially. So imagine her shock when she discovered that the last of her student loan funds, that she had obtained for the living expenses of her last semester, were stolen.

According to Hoffman, there wasn’t anything that should have made her suspicious when she received a text message from her bank. The message claimed to be Chase alerting her to wire fraud. And while it looked similar to previous messages from her bank, this one was going to prove to be different. Hoffman clicked on the link, and then her phone rang. She said the number calling was the same number that was on the back of her Chase bank card. She said she answered some questions over the phone, such as the names of two of her closest family members. Hoffman said the purported representative told her she’d receive a call the next day. She never got her call, Hoffman noticed shortly after that her student loan funds were gone. Because this time, the fraudster was pretending to be Hoffman’s concerned bank. And after the phone call, the fraudster had the information needed to steal her funds.

Hoffman will graduate in May with a doctoral degree in occupational therapy. But her last semester has been anything but a celebration of her hard work. Hoffman reported the incident Chase and to several federal and state law enforcement agencies. Chase denied her claim. The bank told her she “authorized the transfers” and then added that “There was no bank error on our part.”

There are numerous errors in student loans. We urge banks, schools, and the government to impose extra protection on these students, like Hoffman, who just a got a lesson on from Hard Knocks University.

Today’s Fraud Of The Day is based on article “UNLV student claims scammers stole federal loan” published by 8NewsNow Nevada on May 1, 2023

A student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas has been fighting with a bank for more than two months after she says scammers stole her student loan.

Katie Hoffman said Chase bank refused to listen to her. Her student loan was meant for living expenses, and she said the loss of it places undue stress on her when she should be celebrating her upcoming graduation.

“Being a student and the wire transfer money that was stolen, $7,500 of a FAFSA student plus loan,” Hoffman said. “So, that was my money to live on while I finished school, and now I’m kind of left high and dry.”

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.