Internet and phone scams are nothing new in this day and age. They’ve been around so long, most of the phones we have today warn us when potential scammers are calling. However, despite our best efforts, sometimes we still fall for the convincing stories that are fed to us by those trying to manipulate the vulnerable. This can happen to even the savviest of people.
A recent court case in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California ruled in favor of the Federal Trade Commission against the operators of a student loan debt relief scheme. These operators would contact students via social media, in radio ads, and so on claiming to be loan services similar to legitimate government programs that can forgive federal loans if the students qualify. In doing this, they charged consumers large sums of money in illegal fees and obtained student credentials in order to change their contact information, keeping the real loan service from contacting them. These operators scammed students for over a year, profiting off of the money they received.
Knowing this, how do we keep ourselves safe from internet scams? First and foremost, the real government federal loan services are free to enroll in. If you need help paying for federal student loans, contact your servicer or the institution you attended. Never pay anyone for help. If you ever get a phone call from someone and they start asking for money, hang up and report them to the Federal Trade Commission.