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Author Topic: sallie mae - real or scam?
Elsie
Deck the Malls


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Hubby got this email today. I know how to quote the text, but there was a pdf attachment that I'm not sure how to incorporate in case y'all wanted to see it, but the file name is 20040112F0003190.pdf. I also don't know anything about how to check the real origins of an email, but the email address it was sent from was dsn20040112F0003190@selfservice.salliemae.com.

So anyway, here's the text...

quote:
Attached is important information about your student loan. You will need to input your password to access the attached file. Your password is your Social Security Number, entered with no dashes or spaces.

If you prefer not to take advantage of this service, you can let us know electronically at the Manage Your Loans feature at

http://www.salliemae.com

Log on, verify your address and then select the 'Email Address Update'
from the main menu. You can then select how you wish to receive your mail. Or you can reply to this email and indicate your desire to opt out of this process.

If you do not already have Adobe Acrobat Reader 3.0 or higher, you will need to download it to view the correspondence. You can get additional information on Adobe Acrobat
(http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html.) You only need
to download this once - you will be able to use this when accessing PDF documents from other sites in addition to Sallie Mae.

You will need the ability to print should you have to return a form to us or wish to maintain a hardcopy.

I'm questioning the authenticity of this for several reasons:

1. We've both had loans with Sallie Mae for years and have never gotten an email like this before.
2. The file name and email address seem too long and unwieldy to be valid.
3. If you're familiar with Sallie Mae, then you'll know that your SS# is your login name, not your password.
4. And finally, why would they send important information in a pdf file that required a password to access, when they send "important" information all the time in regular emails?

When you try to open the attachment, it really opens Acrobat, but then a popup box appears asking for your password/SS#. The Sallie Mae hyperlink in the text takes you to Sallie Mae, but the Adobe hyperlink takes you to an error page on the Adobe site (page can't be found). We both think it has to be a variant of the Citibank scam, but trying to mine for SS numbers instead. What do you guys think? Ever seen anything like this before? Hubby sent the email to Sallie Mae asking for verification. I'll update later if we get an answer if anyone else out there is interested.

--------------------
I'm an excellent speller, but a lousy typist.
"Just so you know, the words 'just' and 'cramps' - they don't go together." - Ginger Snaps

Posts: 323 | From: Chandler, AZ | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Morgaine La Raq Star
The "Was on Sale" Song


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My advice would be to call sallie mae & ask. [Oops, you already e-mailed!] I'm going to go out on a limb here & say I believe it's a scam to harvest your SS#. Usually companies such as sallie mae don't go e-mailing & asking for your password or other 'secret' info out of the blue.
Let us know how it turns out.


Morgaine

--------------------
I cannot live without books-Thomas Jefferson *~* A child educated only at school is an uneducated child - George Santayana
I'm going to pummel you with such zeal, Buddha will explode! *~* Never miss a good chance to shut up - Will Rogers

Posts: 6585 | From: Dallas/Fort Worth, TX | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
meanjelly
Happy Holly Days


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I second, it sounds like a scam.

--------------------
Education... has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading.
G. M. Trevelyan (1876 - 1962), English Social History (1942)

Posts: 1443 | From: Portland, OR | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
have yourself a Merry Little Galaxy
The First USA Noel


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I third.

Definitely a variation on all those internet banking scams.

Little Galaxy

--------------------
I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains - that's why I live in Melbourne, where it always bloody rains.

Posts: 632 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
I'm 20th Century Fox
Happy Holly Days


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I believe this is legit. I got a similar email from them in June, because I'd updated my email address with Sallie Mae. The Adobe file was just a letter from Sallie Mae, and the "password" (i.e., your SS number) was just because the document was password protected; it was not asking for your account password. Entering your password just allowed it to be opened by you, and no one else:

SallieMaeServicing
C O R P O R A T I O N
ACCOUNT NUMBER:
PHONE FAX TDD/TTY 24 HRS/7 DAYS
P.O. BOX 9500
WILKES BARRE PA 18773-9500 (888) 272-5543
xxxxxxxxxx DEBRA xxxxxx
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
GREENSBORO NC xxxxx
06/12/03 Dear DEBRA xxxxxx,
Recently, you provided Sallie Mae with your current e-mail address. We
would like to begin sending you correspondence electronically using
this e-mail address. All you have to do is to take a few minutes
(really!) and enroll in the Great Sallie Mae Giveaway by clicking here:
https://greatgiveaway.salliemae.com/main.asp
You will be taken to the Great Sallie Mae Giveaway page where, as you
make your choices, you will also be entering the Giveaway. Each month,
a lucky winner will be drawn from Giveaway entrants. That winner will
have up to $25,000 in Sallie Mae student loans paid off, just like
that! Even if you don’t win, you’ll still enjoy the speed and ’ ’ ’ ’
convenience of receiving communications regarding your student loan
through e-mail! Just think, one less piece of mail cluttering the
mailbox!
Please remember to read the contest rules carefully and take advantage
of this great opportunity. Good luck!
(888) 272-5543 (800) 848-1949 (888) 833-7562

Edited for clarification

--------------------
When my chin is on the ground I pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again.

Posts: 1765 | From: Greensboro, NC | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
meanjelly
Happy Holly Days


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I would be shocked if this is legit. Asking for personal info through email would be bad policy for any organization, in my opinion.

Did you call them and make sure this is legit or did you just get scammed and not know it.

--------------------
Education... has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading.
G. M. Trevelyan (1876 - 1962), English Social History (1942)

Posts: 1443 | From: Portland, OR | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Elsie
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Grouchy Plum Mustard Pie:
I believe this is legit. I got a similar email from them in June, because I'd updated my email address with Sallie Mae. The Adobe file was just a letter from Sallie Mae, and the "password" (i.e., your SS number) was just because the document was password protected; it was not asking for your account password.
...

I suppose it could be legit, but neither of us has changed any of our profile data, including email adress. So I still have my doubts. As far as I know there hasn't been a response from Sallie Mae (at least hubby hasn't mentioned it if he has gotten one), but I will keep you posted.

--------------------
I'm an excellent speller, but a lousy typist.
"Just so you know, the words 'just' and 'cramps' - they don't go together." - Ginger Snaps

Posts: 323 | From: Chandler, AZ | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Drag, the Magi Puffin
The Red and the Green Stamps


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You could try disconnecting from the internet (meaning pull the plug out), and then enter your SSN to open the file. Your number can't get sent anywhere that way.
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timmyt
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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This is identical to all the email I get from Sallie Mae. Of course, I've signed up for electronic document delivery. Your SSN is your login name for their website, but it is also your password for the secure pdf files they use to send electronic correspondence.

I vote legit.

BTW, it's probably the 1098 form showing how much interest was paid on student loans. I received mine about two days ago.

Posts: 30 | From: Hattiesburg, MS | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Cenicienta
The Red and the Green Stamps


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It's legit. If you're concerned you can call Sallie Mae's customer service line 800-272-5543. I was worried about the same thing because I got an email from them, and thoughtlessly opened the attachment (entering my SSN to do so). The letter told me I was getting back a 3% reimbursement of my total student loans with them as a part of their Rapid Returns program. I called them to verify (a little worried), but it was legit. Plus, I got the mail in the check today. Cool! Apparantly they're doing this as a promo to get people so sign up to manage their loans online instead of receiving paper mail. I did complain when I called them about having to enter my SSN to open the form. I think that's bad practice and they could probably come up with a different security device.
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