University is an expensive investment. But you know that. Take a look at how many Americans have money worries because of the high amount of student education loans they have accumulated.
Due to the pandemic, the us government has temporarily suspended the repayment of these loans. For now, this break is in effect until May 1. But it doesn't matter when that break finally expires – scammers make the most of anxious and indebted citizens.
For this week's Mid-Valley Scam Alert, we're talking about all things student loan repayment scams. In a March edition of the FBI Oregon Tech Tuesday segment, the agency offered some tips for avoiding falling victim to this particular kind of fraud.
Scammers and scammers will attempt to make contact with you via text, email or phone call/voicemail with the purpose of tricking you into disclosing sensitive information. They will probably tell you about quick and easy methods to consolidate or eliminate your student loans.
People also read-
For example, a fraudster might say, “This is (insert name) education loan assistance. Our records reveal that you were eligible for financing forgiveness program, but you never completed the necessary paperwork. If you want to pursue this app, we need to talk to you today. Call us please.”
If there's something I really hope most people have learned from reading these scam alerts, it's this: Be suspicious of any message from a mystery sender that asks for private information and/or financial.
If you're unsure whether a message is legitimate or not, consider these tips from the Federal Trade Commission:
Support local news coverage and the people who report it by registering to the Albany Democrat-Herald.
- Never pay upfront fees. It is against the law for businesses to ask you for before helping you. Keep in mind that you never need to pay for help from the Department of Education.
- Never give out your Federal Student Aid ID number, Social Security number, or other private information to anybody who contacts you. Scammers may use this information to log to your account, change your details and/or redirect your instalments for them.
- If doubtful, speak to your education loan officer directly.
- Don't subscribe to a quick loan forgiveness. Bad actors might say they can eliminate your loans before they can know the information on your circumstances. They may also promise financing forgiveness program, which you won't qualify for.
- Scammers often use fake seals and logos to trick people into believing the message is credible. They will promise special use of repayment plans, new federal loan consolidations or loan forgiveness programs.
- If you've federal student education loans, go directly to the Department of Education at www.StudentAid.gov.
Debt could be a heavy burden, there are lots of people who only will follow orders in financial matters. After all, you certainly don't wish to get into legal trouble. But it's important to take a step back and look at the problem all angles before giving your crucial information.
No one wants to become a victim of a gimmick scheme, so as always, continue but be careful with regards to monetary matters.
If you are the victim of a education loan scam, report it towards the FTC at www.ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
Maddie Pfeifer covers public safety for Mid-Valley Media. She can be reached at 541-812-6091 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter via @maddiepfeifer_
Subscribe to the Daily Headlines newsletter.