TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) -- The news of three Florida A&M students facing federal charges for conspiring to access the iRattler computer system at FAMU may be unsettling for some people.

The indictment alleges the trio stole personal information from fellow students.

Robert Grasso is not working on the federal case.  But he's a financial crimes investigator for the Tallahassee Police department and says identity fraud is a big problem.

Robert Grasso says,"Financial crimes across the United States are costing consumers millions of dollars each year. Here in Tallahassee we receive numerous complaints related to financial crimes on a daily basis."

Federal prosecutors have not said exactly how the students got a hold of other students personal information. But experts say people have to be careful.

Grasso says, "Don't ever give out your social security number over the phone. Do not respond to emails that you are not sure of. Anybody that calls you and don't know them don't divulge  personal information."

But the indictment also says the three facing charges used stolen financial information to set up fake accounts. Diverting money that students were expecting from financial aide refunds to themselves.

Grasso says,  "If you expect to receive money whether it be a loan or grant or financial aide. The recipient needs to be diligent and check the bank account regularly. To make sure funds are going were they expect to go."   

Federal prosecutors say, Carl Joseph Coutard, Carliss Pereira and Christopher Wright face multiple charges related to conspiring to access the iRattler computer system that FAMU students use to handle their Financial Aide money.

 

 

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