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Fraud Prevention - Protecting Your Information

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Liberty University's Financial Aid Office actively assists students, agencies, and other Liberty departments with the prevention of potential fraud and identity theft.  To that end, we are providing the following important information for our educational community.

Reporting Potential Fraud/Conflicting Information

The Liberty University Financial Aid Office exercises the right to seek additional information whenever there is conflicting information in a student file. 

Conflicting information could include, but is not limited to, the misrepresentation of a person’s identity by having another person conduct business on ones behalf without the proper authorization of a properly executed FERPA Pin number or a Power of Attorney that has previously been approved and on file. Conducting business for an account includes signing Federal or Liberty University documentation for another individual, calling the school portraying to be another person or emailing/chatting for another person. These actions, without the proper authorization, are considered misrepresentation with the intent to deceive and therefore potential fraud. 

Conflicting information must be resolved before financial aid funds may be fully processed and/or disbursed.  Failure to reach a resolution within the enrollment period (which requires written documentation for the student's financial aid file) eliminates aid eligibility.  In some cases, resolution of conflicting information within 30 days of the end of the enrollment period may not provide sufficient time to process financial aid for that enrollment period.  Therefore, aid eligibility could be eliminated.

Identity Theft

Diploma Mills

Increasingly, individuals are attempting to use a diploma mill (a business offering an inferior, unaccredited, or false credential) to represent the completion of a high school diploma or its equivalent.  Graduation from high school is a foundational requirement for most aid programs.  Submitting a false document, therefore, is a serious violation of University rules, Virginia State requirements, and federal regulations.

The Liberty University Financial Aid Office considers the use of a false diploma, false degree or other false academic document to be a case of conflicting information and potential fraud.

Upon discovery of any use of the document, Liberty University will cancel all related financial aid and return it to its source.  This may also include financial aid received in prior academic years.  This will cause a balance due to the University for which the student is responsible. 

In addition to loss of financial aid and institutional discipline, anyone who issues, manufactures, or knowingly uses fraudulent academic credentials can be found guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia, which is punishable by a sentence of up to twelve months in jail and fines of up to $2,500.  Additionally, under federal law, if you purposely give false information, you may be fined $20,000, sent to prison, or both.