Prof Discovers Mass Enrollment of Fake Students in Suspected COVID Relief Scam

It’s a situation ripe for fraud—$6 trillion quickly given out by federal agencies for COVID relief with little oversight. The money has been a lifeline for many in the country, it’s also been seen as easy cash for scammers. And despite some high profile convictions, most criminals are never caught.

The Department of Labor suspects it paid out nearly $8 billion in fraudulent unemployment insurance claims over 7 months. The Federal Trade Commission said by August it had received over 69,000 complaints of COVID-related identity theft.

How are the scams discovered? Sometimes it takes an alert citizen, like Kim Rich, a professor of criminal justice and a distance education specialist at Pierce College from Los Angeles Community College District.

Rich noticed something was amiss in her online classes. She dug deeper, and ended up discovering masses of fake students enrolled at her school and at others in the district. Rich reveals what she found, and what the school is, or isn’t, doing about it.

Watch the full episode on EpochTV.