Student loan cancellation scams on the rise
COLORADO SPRINGS – $ 1.7 trillion in national student loan debt has led to calls, texts, emails and even letters in the mail from companies offering help managing or even canceling student loan debt . But in many cases, these offers are too good to be true and can create even more challenges for borrowers.
“Most of us need a lot of money for the education that we got and to be able to get out of it, why wouldn’t you do that, you know? Said Christopher Demers, who currently works as a director for News5 news broadcasts.
Demers says he received a student loan cancellation offer in the mail and decided to call.
“The scary thing is that they had all of my information on my student loans, which could happen to me,” Demers said. “She said it would be $ 39 per month for 20 years and after that I would be eligible for loan cancellation. So I was like okay, that’s great, let’s do it. end she said “we need a thousand dollars up front ‘blah, blah, blah and I was like I couldn’t pay for that.”
After speaking to his colleagues and family, Demers called federal authorities who told him the bad news.
“I’m probably a victim of fraud and have to change all of my stuff and that’s what I did,” Demers said.
Demers immediately contacted his bank to close his account and open a new one.
“My bank told me it had to change several over the past three weeks,” Demers said. “It makes me feel better about myself because I felt stupid to fall into the trap, especially knowing all of this. But then when I realized it wasn’t just me and it was a very common thing. I realized these people are getting a lot more sophisticated and we all have problems. “
At the Better Business Bureau in southern Colorado, phones are ringing with people with similar experiences.
“We’re pretty sure they’ve increased. I think in the dozens a day we get calls,” said Adah Rodruguez of the Southern Colorado BBB. “I mean just personally and through coworkers and personal connections I know so many people who have had five or six calls a day over the past week.”
News5 acquired a voicemail message which was reported as a scam:
“Um… this is Joanna and I’m calling with reference to your student loan. We need to discuss your repayment options with the new changes that recently went into effect. Please call me back with reference number 45839.”
Have you recently received any of these student loan management or discount offers? Before taking action on this, you might want to talk to consumer protection experts.
You can contact the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado with questions or concerns by calling (719) 636-1155.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a U.S. government agency that makes sure banks, lenders, and other financial companies treat you fairly. You can contact them by calling (855) 411-2372.