BBB warns about 'multiple reports' related to student loan scams
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- With the pause on Federal student loans officially over, millions of Americans will have to start repaying those loans this week. As borrowers prepare to get back on track with loan payments, experts are warning about student loan scams.
"BBB has already received multiple reports related to student loan repayment scams across the country," said Lisa Schiller with Wisconsin's Better Business Bureau. "Usually the scammer will say 'This is in regard to new 2023 guidelines' or cite something in regard to new guidelines."
With millions of borrowers now needing to start repaying those Federal loans and many likely having questions regarding those payments, Schiller says the situation makes it a perfect opportunity for scammers.
"Borrowers are receiving emails and letters and phone calls from someone claiming that they are eligible for student loan consolidation or a payment reduction program or something similar," Schiller said. "Scammers are on top of whatever is going on and with this new information, it could become confusing. Scammers will want to take advantage of that and jump ahead."
Schiller says requests may include faulty email links, requests for identification or social security numbers, and in some cases, the scammers may even request login information. Even if no money is transferred, the consequences can still be costly.
"Sometimes, they'll offer a plan to reduce the loan repayment and then of course, if you agree, you could end up making payments to a third party for months to even years," Schiller explained. "Even if no payments are made, sharing personal, identifiable information with someone you don't know can definitely lead to identity theft."
She says this makes it very important to make sure you're verifying who you're speaking with, whether it be on the phone or via email.
"Always do your research before sharing personal information with anybody," Schiller advised. "Anybody can tell you they are somebody via email or telephone. Hang up the phone and call back your current loan servicer or check with an official government website that ends with .gov or ends in studentaid.gov."
While no reports have been reported in the Badger State thus far, the fear is that could change quickly.
"We have, on a national basis, received a few reports already," Schiller said. "We know the scammers are out there and, unfortunately, the scams will likely continue."