Student loan scammers are targeting borrowers more than ever

At this time of year, thousands of students cross the stage to receive their degrees, but they are also the target of student loan scammers. Voicemails, text messages, and emails that all sound genuine are sent to the borrower. Many of them promise things like student loan forgiveness. “I get a lot of phone calls, especially from very distant cities,” said Emma Vandaele, a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. “The tone of voice doesn’t sound professional at all,” said Paja Xiong, a freshman at UWM. “They usually say, ‘If you don’t join this program, you’ll miss this opportunity to repay all your loans,” said UWM junior Jennifer Santiago. “How often do you think you get these?” asked WISN 12 investigative reporter Caroline Reinwald. “Once a week, a few times a week,” said UWM senior David Aleckson Not everyone is savvy enough to spot scammers among legitimate sources. Last year, the Federal Trade Commission returned more than $1.7 million in refunds to people who were defrauded by a group posing as the Department of Education. “We live at a when it’s so easy for scammers to lift trademarks, logos, information, graphics, information, or even create websites that appear to be from the government,” said Better Business spokesperson Lisa Schiller. Office of the Bureau at West Allis . Schiller said the scammers cast a wide net when looking for their next victim. However, student borrowers are particularly vulnerable. “It usually intensifies as kids cross the stage to graduate,” Schiller said. Especially now, since the White House announced the extension of its loan repayment plan until the summer. “The scammers know that. They follow the news and so they’re going to take advantage of it,” Schiller said. Experts say one way to spot a scammer: If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. “For a student who just graduated, there is no loan forgiveness program. So if you get a text saying your loan is completely forgiven, I would be suspicious,” said Rebecca Neumann, professor of economics at UWM. Neumann and Schiller suggested a few ways to stay savvy about scammers. First, if you have a federal student aid loan, any associated website will have a .gov in the URL. The .gov means it comes from the government. If you are using a private lender, check directly with that lender before responding to any messages or questions regarding your loan. They also said that voicemails, text messages and emails that promise or guarantee loan forgiveness are a dead giveaway. Especially if they urge you to call them back, at the risk of losing the case. “They have to really pay attention to their lender and not just someone who says, ‘I can help you consolidate that loan. Or for a small fee, to get you out of debt,’” Neumann said. “You don’t have to pay anyone a fee to get out of debt. You just have to make your necessary timely payments on your loan.” Both experts said working with your lender right away is the best way to avoid these types of loan scams. The BBB encourages people to research the lender by contacting them on their website. They said anyone who feels they have been targeted or victimized by a scammer should report it to their BBB Scam Tracker. You can also find resources online or report the scam to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Commerce, and Consumer Protection.

At this time of year, thousands of students cross the stage to receive their degrees, but they are also the target of student loan scammers.

Voicemails, text messages, and emails that all sound genuine are sent to the borrower.

Many of them promise things like the cancellation of student loans.

“I get a lot of phone calls, especially from very distant cities,” said Emma Vandaele, a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

“The tone of voice doesn’t sound professional at all,” said Paja Xiong, a freshman at UWM.

“They usually say, ‘If you don’t join this program, you’ll miss this opportunity to repay all your loans,'” said UWM junior Jennifer Santiago.

“How often do you think you get these?” asked WISN 12 investigative reporter Caroline Reinwald.

“Once a week, a few times a week,” UWM senior David Aleckson said.

Not everyone is savvy enough to spot scammers among legitimate sources.

Last year, the Federal Trade Commission returned more than $1.7 million in refunds to people who were defrauded by a group posing as the Department of Education.

“We live in a time when it’s so easy for scammers to lift brands, logos, information, graphics, information, even create websites that look like they’re from the government,” said Lisa Schiller, gatekeeper. -word of Better Business. Office of the Bureau at West Allis.

Schiller said the scammers cast a wide net when looking for their next victim. However, student borrowers are particularly vulnerable.

“It usually intensifies as kids cross the stage to graduate,” Schiller said.

Especially now, since the White House announced the extension of its loan repayment plan until the summer.

“The scammers know that. They follow the news and so they’re going to take advantage of it,” Schiller said.

Experts say one way to spot a scammer: If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

“For a student who just graduated, there is no loan forgiveness program. So if you get a text saying your loan is completely forgiven, I would be suspicious,” said Rebecca Neumann, professor of economics at UWM.

Neumann and Schiller suggested a few ways to stay savvy about scammers.

First, if you have a federal student aid loan, any associated website will have a .gov in the URL.

The .gov means it comes from the government.

If you are using a private lender, check directly with that lender before responding to any messages or questions regarding your loan.

They also said that voicemails, text messages and emails that promise or guarantee loan forgiveness are a dead giveaway.

Especially if they urge you to call them back, at the risk of losing the case.

“They have to really pay attention to their lender and not just someone who says, ‘I can help you consolidate that loan. Or for a small fee, to get you out of debt,’” Neumann said. “You don’t have to pay anyone a fee to get out of debt. You just have to make your necessary timely payments on your loan.”

Both experts said working with your lender right away is the best way to avoid these types of loan scams.

The BBB encourages people to research the lender by contacting them on their website.

They said anyone who feels they have been targeted or victimized by a scammer should report it to their BBB Scam Tracker.

You can also find resources online or report the scam to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Commerce, and Consumer Protection.

Comments are closed.