11 Investigates: Local Mom Concerned About Website Mix-up

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A local mom says her son was applying for financial help to pay for college and he accidentally clicked on the wrong website.

Now she's worried her personal information has been compromised.

Candi Thompson lives in Widefield. She says her son thought he was filling out the FAFSA online, or Free Application For Federal Student Aid.

Thompson says on these applications you include a lot of personal information like Social Security numbers and banking information, which you don't want to fall in the wrong hands.

The website he was using needed credit card information and charged $78 to process the application.

"I said I don't think this is right. So I said, 'Stop right there, let me see what site you're on,' and it was a .com site," said Thompson.

In fact, when you Google FAFSA, the very first website that comes up looks similar, but is not affiliated with the Department of Education.

The real FAFSA website ends in .gov instead of .com and is completely free to fill out.

Thompson says it's something all parents and students should be on the lookout for if they are applying for financial aid.

"Look at what website you're on before you start putting your social [security number] in. Make sure that you're on the right website because you never know. I work in the IT business, you never know at what point your information has been saved," said Thompson.

It's important to point out that the other website isn't necessarily a scam in this case, but it can be confusing. It's a subtle difference that might catch a student or parent off guard, and ultimately cost you money.

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