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Symantec Spots Student Scam Powered By Ascesso Trojan

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Scammers are trying to trick students into paying for application to the US student loan forgiveness programme

Email scams spread by the Ascesso trojan are being targeted at students to try and trick them into believing they can get part or all of their load paid.

In the US the student loan forgiveness programme allows for qualifying students to have some of their debts reduced or written of after a certain term.

The scam propagated by the trojan works by enticing students into thinking they may be eligible for student loan forgiveness and prompts them to pay an application fee. However, the official programme has no fee, marking the email out as a scam.

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Student scamming

Nigerian Scams“The student loan scam spam comes in a variety of forms but typically offers a reduction in student debt, consolidation of debt, or student loan forgiveness,” said Symantec’s researchers.

“The scam emails will entice readers with offers that seem, and are, too good to be true, such as qualifying for zero payment or having their entire loan forgiven. Others may try to charge for services that can be accessed for free from the government, your lender, college, university, or other sources.

“In some examples of these types of scams, victims have reported calling the number listed and being told they qualify for financial help. The victims are then told they must purchase an iTunes card for hundreds of dollars as an ‘application fee’ and receive further requests for more cash.”

Like many of such scams there are clues that they are not legitimate, including grammatical errors and unusual requests that mark them out from being genuine emails. However, student debt in the US is a problem, so it would come as no surprise if a struggling student fell for such a scam.

Up-to-date spam filters can protect against email scams, but as various trojans and malware get more sophisticated against targeting their victims, these kinds of scams are not likely to disappear any time soon.

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