Forgiveness Fraud

A new student loan debt fraud has emerged

There’s a new scam that targets people dealing with student loan debt. Like often happens, thieves are taking advantage of a news cycle to seize an opportunity. This time they’ve latched on to President Biden’s discussion of student loan forgiveness.

The scam starts with a thief either calling or emailing you. When they call, they typically use a local area code to add another layer of deception. The caller claims they’re contacting you because your student loan debt is eligible to be wiped clean. They usually drop in some info to make them sound legit — in particular, thieves have been using phrases like “Biden relief program” and “stimulus relief offer.” The scammer then claims they just need some more personal info from you and/or a small payment to complete the debt forgiveness process. The email scam works much the same way. The scammer will include some official sounding lingo, then ask you to click a link to access debt forgiveness.

Of course, there is no such relief program. The scammers just want your info and money.

As Marketwatch reports, the key to avoiding this scam is to keep in mind that anyone promising federal student loan forgiveness is lying. There are no programs. At least not yet. Anyone who says that they can work to reduce your debt is also lying. If you are contacted by one of these scammers, hang up and contact your loan servicer and report the scam. You should also contact the FTC and log a complaint. As an extra layer of protection, change your passwords for your bank and student loan servicer.

Chris O'Shea

Chris O'Shea