Fraudsters target people wanting student loan forgiveness

FTC: Lies including eligibility and an expedited process promised in exchange for payment and personal information
Fraudsters target people wanting student loan forgiveness
Posted at 5:00 AM, Sep 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-01 08:22:08-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — People are still processing the announcement from President Biden that he plans to move forward with a historic student loan forgiveness process. As a result, phones are ringing non-stop at college financial aid offices with people looking for answers about how exactly this will work.

The truth is, the plan is still being worked out and investigators say the people claiming to have the answers at this point are fraudsters poised to take people’s money and information.

”You really didn’t know whether or not it was actually going to happen,” said Senior Executive Director at the UCCS Financial Aid Office Jevita Rogers. “But yeah, it was unbelievable, the phone calls coming through asking for information and we’re like, we just heard it too.”

At UCCS, Rogers says she’s been fielding constant calls from people with student loan debt who want to know how they can take advantage of President Biden's student loan forgiveness plan.

”Right now, all current federal student loan borrowers are on a loan payment pause and that’s going through the end of the year,” said Rogers. “So what’s happening is the federal government is taking this time to figure out all the nuances that are going to have to happen for federal student loan borrowers.”

”I know that’s not an easy place to be in to be fielding those calls,” said News5’s Patrick Nelson.

”It’s definitely a neat opportunity but unfortunately people are taking advantage of students and parents in this situation,” said Rogers.

With plenty of unanswered questions about student loan forgiveness, people are getting text messages, emails, and calls that sound something like, ”Regarding the student forgiveness plan, you have been approved for a zero dollar per month payment, press one to get rid of your student loan,” the voice says on the call.

But Rogers says if you press one, you wind up on the line with a fraudster.

”My own husband is a student loan borrower and he’s been getting the calls,” said Rogers. “One of the things to keep in mind with all of this is if it seems too good to be true it probably is.”

If someone contacts you about student loan forgiveness, think twice about the information you give over the phone.

”Anything that you need to give in order to apply for a credit card, or a loan, that right there are not the kind of things you want to give over the phone,” warned Rogers.

According to financial experts, the best advice right now is to check on your federal loan servicer, know who they are and that they have your most recent contact information. That will help you get the updates you need directly from the source.

There are some consumer red flags to look for to spot a student loan forgiveness scheme:

  • Nobody can get you help this early
  • Nobody can help you get to the front of the line
  • Nobody can guarantee eligibility

FTC says if you hear any of these lines, the people telling you these things are liars and scammers.
For more information and to sign up for helpful consumer alerts visit this website.

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