HOUSTON (KIAH)— With the student loan repayment pause coming to an end, many student loan borrowers have reported getting out of the blue calls, emails and even social media messages from scammers claiming to be government entities such as the Federal Student Aid Department.
The Better Business Bureau says that these scammers have been reaching out to borrowers claiming to offer student loan consolidation, payment reduction programs and other similar services. Scammers will then claim that these benefits are allegedly apart of the new 2023 guidelines.
If you respond, scammers will then ask for your personal information in an effort to “confirm your identity” or “check your eligibility” for the benefits such as your social security number, name and address or even your FSA.gov login information.
Vice President of Investigations and Public Affairs at the Better Business Bureau of Greater Houston and South Texas Leah Napoliello said that borrowers should be aware of the sense of urgency coming from these emails, texts and calls and immediately see that it’s a red flag.
“we’ve seen instances where people have been contacted out the blue by either text or email or social media messages and often times the scammer will pretend to be a government entity. They say they can help you with the loan by either consolidation or repayment and they tell you you have to pay them up front however, so you think you’re getting some type of assistance from the government, but it’s really just a scammer trying to get money out of you.”
Here are some warning signs:
- Get to know the terms of your loan and the relief program before acting
- Never pay money for a free government program
- Be careful of all information, even if it comes from a friend
- Verify all information on official government websites such as studentaid.gov or ed.gov