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  • Geebo 9:00 am on February 22, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , student debt, ,   

    Scam Round Up: Student loan forgiveness scam and more 

    Scam Round Up: Student loan forgiveness scam and more

    By Greg Collier

    Today, we’re brining you three scams that we’ve discussed in the past, but are worth discussing again as a reminder.

    ***

    Student loan payments were temporarily suspended by the government and were expected to resume this past January 31st. However, the government extended the deadline once again to the beginning of May. This entire time, scammers have been out in full force, trying to pull the wool over the eyes of those who are looking for student debt relief. Scammers are calling those with student debt promising loan forgiveness. Some scammers are even trying to disguise themselves as government associated entities. These scammers are mainly out to steal your personal and financial information. Scammers will also try to pressure you into giving your information by saying that their offer is only available for a short time. Keep in mind that no legitimate agency that can offer debt forgiveness is going to solicit you.

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    With the employment culture shifting more to working from home, more scams are trying to take advantage of any disconnects between employer and employee. Some scammers are finding out where people work and are posing as their bosses. The scammers will send text messages or emails posing as a home worker’s boss and asking them to do certain assignments. Typically, these assignments involve money such as buying gift cards, wiring money, or even changing someone’s direct deposit for their paychecks. If you receive one of these messages, it never hurts to contact your boss directly over the phone before responding to any of the messages.

    ***

    Lastly, we’ve seen reports again about consumers receiving phone calls that threaten to shut off their electricity. In this scam, the scammers will pose as your local power company and tell you that your account is past due, and they’ll terminate your service if you don’t pay immediately. The scammers will then ask for payment in things like gift cards, pre-paid debit cards, or in some cases, will even try to direct you to a Bitcoin ATM. No utility company will ever threaten you with termination of service over the phone. If your account is past due, you would be notified in the mail before service would be shut off.

    ***

    Hopefully, this little refresher course will help you avoid these and other scams in the future.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on December 20, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , student debt,   

    Scammers turn their eyes to student debt 

    Scammers turn their eyes to student debt

    By Greg Collier

    Student debt has become a very contentious issue in this country. Due to the rising costs of college tuition and wages remaining stagnant, a generation of college graduates may work for the rest of their lives just to try to pay back their student loans. It has become such a problem that for many, a temporary student loan payment suspension was placed by the government during the pandemic. This gave relief to many who were struggling to make ends meet. However, payments are set to resume on January 31st, 2022. Scammers are probably already gearing up to try to take advantage of those who are having trouble making their payments.

    The Federal Trade Commission has issued a warning about scammers looking to capitalize on the student debt crisis by offering phony debt forgiveness plans. The FTC says that scammers will text, email, and call you, and message you on social media with false promises of debt forgiveness. Tips given by the FTC include, never paying an upfront fee, as it’s illegal for legitimate services to do so, don’t give anyone your Federal Student Aid ID or any other personal information, and don’t fall for any communication that appears to have an official seal as those can be faked.

    You should always be wary of any service that contacts you out of the blue and offers you the moon, and not just for student debt forgiveness. Legitimate services and agencies that offer services like credit repair, debt forgiveness, or tax assistance, will not try to solicit you. Unsolicited communication that promises you a way out of debt are almost always too good to be true.

    There are certain reasons where you can have your student loan forgiven; however, not everyone meets these requirements. You can find out more on from the Federal Government’s Student Aid website.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on March 10, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , student debt,   

    New student loan forgiveness scam preys on confusion 

    Is student loan debt consolidation a scam?

    By Greg Collier

    Over the past several years, college tuition costs continue to rise while salaries for jobs that many graduates would fill have remained largely stagnant. This has resulted in one of the largest debt crises our country has faced. We may now have a generation of college graduates who may work their whole lives just to pay back their student loans. Not only has this made student loan debt forgiveness a contentious political issue, but it’s also allowed scammers to take advantage of the confusion and desperation of those who find themselves dealing with this debt.

    Over the past year, the government has approved a couple of economic impact payments due to the record unemployment. Even a third one was recently approved. Those payments came with a lot of confusion about how to get one and scammers swooped down on that confusion like a pack of hungry buzzards. Now, scammers are making up government relief programs to take advantage of those swimming in student loan debt.

    Scammers are now contacting their victims claiming they represent a student loan debt forgiveness program. Those programs exist, but they are difficult to find and even more difficult to get approved. These scammers are said to be using terms like ‘Biden student loan forgiveness’ and ‘stimulus forgiveness’. So far, there has been no student loan debt forgiveness legislation that has been approved by either Congress or President Biden. However, with the talk of an additional COVID-19 economic impact payment, someone could be tricked into believing that debt forgiveness is part of that package.

    As always, the scammers are looking for one of two things. Scammers will either ask you for some kind of ‘processing fee’, your personal information, or both. Anyone that contacts you out of the blue offering a too good to be true way of getting out of debt is not your friend. These calls should be ignored and reported to your local police and the Federal Trade Commission.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 1, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , student debt,   

    New scam promises student loan forgiveness 

    New scam promises student loan forgiveness

    With the cost of college tuition always rising and salaries largely remaining stagnant, we have a generation of college graduates who may work their whole lives just to pay back their student loans. People of that generation have also been found to be just as vulnerable to scams as their grandparents’ generation. Far be it for scammers to not try to take advantage of those two facts.

    According to Wikipedia, Navient is a U.S. corporation whose operations include servicing and collecting student loans. They recently settled a lawsuit over student debt forgiveness, however, the settlement doesn’t provide relief for those who owe money to Navient. But the scammers are hoping to cash in on the confusion over the lawsuit settlement.

    Scammers are posing as Navient employees and calling people telling them that due to the settlement the debtors are eligible to have their student debt partially or fully forgiven. There’s only one thing the debtors need to do. You just need to give your Social Security number and pay a fee to transfer the debt to the Department of Education.

    Not just any fee mind you, the scammers are asking for monthly payments from your debit or credit card to maintain the loan forgiveness. So, while the scammers are taking monthly payments from you, nothing is happening with your student debt. So not only are you paying these scammers monthly payments but you’ll probably be ignoring your student loan payments leading to a series of financial nightmares that no one should have to go through.

    However, there is hope. The settlement made it that if your loan payments are being collected by Navient, you can contact them to see if you are, in fact, eligible for loan forgiveness.

    Companies like Navient aren’t going to just call you out of the blue to possibly lose the profits they’ve already gained. Unsolicited phone calls that promise you a way out of debt are almost always too good to be true.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 27, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , student debt,   

    Is student loan debt consolidation a scam? 

    Is student loan debt consolidation a scam?

    Student loan debt has been a hot topic in public conscience for a number of years now. It doesn’t only affect the recently graduated but those who have been out of school for years as well. Many college graduates go for most of their lives just trying to pay the interest off from these loans. It’s bad enough that these graduates face mountains of debt due to predatory practices performed by the lenders but now an army of scammers are looking to capitalize on their hardship.

    You may hear these commercials on the radio, see the fliers in the mail, or see the signs along roadways promising student debt relief or consolidation. A number of these so-called services promise to get you a better interest rate or lower your payments. All you have to do is pay a nominal fee to get the ball rolling. But instead of getting a better rate, these con artists just take your fee and disappear leaving you with more debt than when you started.

    The Better Business Bureau recommends that if you’re having trouble paying back your loans that you should contact your lender directly to try to negotiate a lower payment. Also, you should never pay up front for any debt service until they give you results first. Never give a debt consolidation service power of attorney as they can use this to take over your loan and make your payments even greater. While there is no quick and easy solution to alleviating the ever-mounting student loan debt problem, keeping these tips in mind will prevent you from it becoming an even bigger problem for you.

     
  • Geebo 11:29 am on August 2, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , student debt,   

    Is student loan debt relief the new 401k? 

    Is student loan debt relief the new 401k?

    In the past, most employers provided a helpful benefits package to their employees. Robust health and dental plans along with a helpful 401k plan used to be the norm. A number of employers even had a program where you could be reimbursed for your college education if you attended classes while working for the company. Unfortunately, since the financial crash of 2008 a lot of employers have started scaling back on the amount of benefits that they offer. The financial crash also resulted in higher amounts of debt for college students who took out student loans in order to pay for their education.

    Now, some companies are offering a student debt relief plan as part of their employee benefits to attract recent college graduates. Much like a 401k, the company matches an employee’s deduction amount, and the plans can give out up to $1200 a year for six years. While it doesn’t completely wipe out a student’s debt it can take years off the payback process.

    If this practice becomes more widely accepted by more companies do you think this will encourage more people to seek a college education? Please let us know in the comments.

     
    • Sharonda Fentress 1:22 pm on August 19, 2016 Permalink

      Yes that would help a great deal that is an awesome idea!

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