NOVA’s April 2019 Financial Aid Newsletter

Check out the April 2019 Greenback, the latest issue of NOVA’s financial aid newsletter. This issue features information on:

  • Summer Pell Grants
  • NOVA’s Work-Study Program
  • Managing Student Loans
  • National Student Loan Data System
  • Scholarship Information
  • $500 Cash Contest
  • Upcoming Deadlines
  • Submitting the FAFSA
  • 24 Hour Student Support Center
  • Ace Chatbot
  • 2018-2019 Financial Aid Handbook
  • Summer 2019 Bookstore Purchase Periods

The Greenback newsletter is designed to provide students and staff members with a concise summary of current financial aid topics.

Special Fraud Alert: Tax Day is coming (and so are IRS impersonation scams)

We would like to should share the following information published by Fraud.org at https://www.fraud.org/irs_impersonators?utm_campaign=4_2019_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ncl 

It’s tax season! If you are like most Americans, you might be a little confused by the new tax laws. Unfortunately, fraudsters are more than willing to take advantage of this confusion to steal taxpayers’ hard-earned money.

Imposter scams were the most commonly-reported type of fraud in 2018 according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and robocalling complaints were five times higher than average in the weeks leading up to Tax Day on April 15, leaving scam fighters to conclude that IRS imposters are utilizing the technology to locate their next victims.

One consumer from Florida (we’re calling him “Tom” to protect his privacy) wrote in to tell us his story.

Tom received a call from someone claiming to be an IRS agent who let him know that he had made a mistake on his filing, which resulted in a warrant for his arrest being issued. The caller demanded that he pay $10,586 to avoid being arrested. Tom told us, “I really did believe that I might’ve made a mistake … they asked for me to go to Walmart to pay a balance totaling the last two tax returns of $800 each.” But Tom was skeptical and hung up. Shortly after he hung up, he received a “VERY convincing call from a number that said 911,” on the caller ID. The caller, who identified herself as a U.S. Marshal, said that “she had just received a call from the IRS to arrest me and was on her way. I called back the [IRS Scammer] and agreed to fully cooperate.”

Sadly, Tom lost $1,600 before he was able to contact the real IRS and determine that he had been defrauded.

Unfortunately, in 2019, the IRS impersonation scam again made the IRS’ “Dirty Dozen” tax scam list, due to its ability to swindle millions of dollars from American tax payers. Fortunately, there are red flags that consumers can watch for to avoid this scam:

  • Your first contact with the IRS is by phone or email. The IRS does not contact taxpayers about problems with their returns by phone or email. The IRS will typically first reach out via U.S. mail.
  • They specify how you should pay your bill. The real IRS will never require you to pay a certain way. If someone claiming to be with the IRS requests that you pay by gift card, money order, bank-to-bank transfer, or cash, they are scamming you.
  • They threaten to contact local law enforcement to have you arrested for not paying. As a rule, IRS employees will NEVER do this.
  • They demand that you pay your bill without providing an opportunity to appeal. The IRS will always allow taxpayers to question or appeal their bill.

If you receive a threatening phone call from a supposed IRS agent, you should refuse to provide the caller with any personal information and hang up immediately. After you hang up, if you are concerned that you may actually owe taxes, or if you would simply like some peace of mind, you should call the IRS directly to speak with one of its agents who can tell you whether you owe any taxes. You can reach the IRS by calling (800) 829-1040.

If you become a victim of an imposter scam or you suspect you have spotted one, report it! You can file a complaint at Fraud.org via our secure online complaint form. We’ll share your complaint with our network of more than 90 law enforcement and consumer protection agency partners who can and do put fraudsters behind bars.

Financial Aid Newsletter – January 2019 Greenback

Check out the January 2019 Greenback, the latest issue of NOVA’s financial aid newsletter. This issue features information on:

  • FAFSA Mobile App
  • 24 Hour Student Support Center
  • Virtual Advising
  • Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Academic Standing
  • NOVA-Mason ADVANCE Program
  • Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship Act
  • Scholarships for Students with Disabilities
  • Ace Chatbot
  • 2018-2019 Financial Aid Handbook
  • Spring 2019 Bookstore Purchase Periods

The Greenback newsletter is designed to provide students and staff members with a concise summary of current financial aid topics.

If I drop, audit, stop attending a class, or withdraw, will I have to repay my financial aid?

Repaying or keeping your financial aid depends on a variety of factors including the type of aid you were awarded, when the change occurred, and if you are still enrolled in other classes.  It also depends on if you did not attend a class, dropped a class before the census date, or if you withdrew.  In some cases, enrollment changes may result in you owing a balance to the college as described below.

Check out this helpful article on the 24 Hour Student Support Center website for more information.

24 Hour Student Support Center

The 24 Hour Student Support Center has expanded its services!  In addition to responding to financial aid and student account inquires, the Support Center now provides assistance with questions related to admission, registration, and records.  By calling 855-323-3199 you can receive 24/7 live assistance from knowledgeable agents on topics such as registration, transcripts, class scheduling, prerequisites, preparatory coursework, the admission application, financial aid and student accounts.  You also have the option to:

Live Chat

Create a Case

Track your Progress

Submit Documents Online

Search the Self-Help Portal 

When contacting the Support Center you can expect to receive excellent customer service from professional, courteous agents who can answer most of your questions.  Approximately 90% of inquiries are addressed immediately and the rest are responded to within 1-3 business days if additional research or escalation is required.  For more information, please visit https://mysupport.nvcc.edu/ or give us a call at 855-323-3199.

Spear Phishing Scammers Want More from You

“I’m calling from [pick any bank]. Someone’s been using your debit card ending in 2345 at [pick any retailer]. I’ll need to verify your Social Security number — which ends in 8190, right? — and full debit card information so we can stop this unauthorized activity…”

So the caller ID shows the name of your bank. And the caller knows some of your personal details. Does that mean it’s legit? No. It’s a scam — and scammers are counting on the call being so unsettling that you might not stop to check your bank statement.

Read the full FTC article by Lisa Lake, Consumer Education Specialist here

NOVA Financial Aid Information Blog