BBB warns of incoming spike in loan forgiveness scams

Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 6:11 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 2, 2023 at 6:46 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Scams for student loan forgiveness, as well as job openings, are on the rise as people anticipate the federal pause for student loans to expire. The Better Business Bureau says June is prime time for these kinds of scams to hit the scene.

According to Forbes, an estimated 5 billion dollars were stolen from American student loan borrowers last year alone.

President of BBB’s Roanoke branch Julie Wheeler warned about ways scammers are using to get someone’s attention — making it sound like they can take the financial stress off with an affordable flat fee.

“The flat fees upfront without providing any assistance are not legal, so you absolutely do not want to do that sometimes will make you promises that they can work out a special deal or they ask you to make your payment directly to them then you have no insurance if they’re actually going to make the payment to who you owe so you don’t ever want to do that either,” Wheeler said.

BBB President Wheeler also mentions that loan forgiveness scams are advancing technology to get people’s attention.

“A lot of times if you’ve done searches online, you gotta be careful of the sites to come up because they’re not all legitimate. Crooks will pay for ads so their stuff pops up at the top and you think you’re on a legitimate site,” Wheeler said.

The Better Business Bureau stressed it is crucial for people to make sure they are on a Department of Education website for repayment loan forgiveness options or a listed agency they partner with.

BBB associates assure they are always open to helping people not get scammed whether it’s answering questions or filing a complaint.

BBB President Wheeler offers ways to avoid getting cheated over debt relief saying you do not want to pay money upfront or provide your personal and login information to any third party because you have no idea what they will do with it. Another big tip is not to let potential scammers set up accounts for you on other sites because you do not have control over them.