RALEIGH, NC– You can qualify for student loan debt relief, but don’t let scammers rob you of your money and identity.
Phone calls, texts, and emails related to student loan forgiveness have already increased dramatically. The problem is that these communications are likely scammers trying to steal you.
The federal government recently announced that many student loan borrowers could receive up to $20,000 in debt relief. However, new policies like these always spawn scammers trying to take advantage of people navigating new waters.
People shared multiple voicemails they had received over the past few days since news broke that the federal government would be canceling federal student loans for millions of people.
WATCH: Tips to avoid falling for back-to-school scams
One fraudulent voicemail read: “I wanted to get in touch with you because I don’t want your prequalified status to change, specifically qualifications for potential credit relief.”
Another voicemail claimed to be with a loan assistance organization that can help you with the process.
According to Zulfikar Ramzan of Aura, a consumer cybersecurity company, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to tell the difference between legitimate companies that can help you and scammers.
“Nowadays it’s so easy to copy-paste the right letterhead onto a page, or create a website that looks completely legitimate, or send out an email that looks professionally written,” he said.
According to Ramzan, if you get a call or email out of the blue from a company you don’t know, it’s almost always scammers trying to get your money or your identity.
“To help you with this process, they will ask for your personal information. Your bank account for generating your social security number, your credit card numbers.”
WATCH: Salon owner warns of scammers posing as Fayetteville hairstylist on social media
Also, don’t be fooled by messages to your social media accounts. Ramzan said profiles have already been created on Instagram claiming to help with student debt relief. The red flags to look out for are when they have very few followers or no posts.
The troubleshooter tricks to remember is, if you get a message about student loan forgiveness out of the blue, don’t act immediately, but take the time to research the company. Also, never pay any money or give your credit card information to anyone, as you don’t have to pay anything to qualify for this waiver.
Be suspicious of copycat government websites. Legitimate sites end at ed.gov and studentaid.gov. Remember to never give out personal information like your social security number, date of birth, or driver’s license number just because they ask for it.
“At the end of the day, scammers will get away with that information and you won’t get your $10,000 through that process, and if anything, you’ll likely find yourself in deeper debt as a result,” Ramzan said.
You can find out here whether you are entitled to a student loan. However, please note that details on obtaining forgiveness have not yet been released. The Biden administration claims that if the US Department of Education has your income data you may be automatically eligible, if not an application process is expected to begin in the coming weeks.
WATCH: $5,900 water bill catches Harnett County woman who owns vacant lot by surprise
Copyright © 2022 WTVD-TV. All rights reserved.
https://6abc.com/student-loan-scams-forgiveness-biden/12168503/ Student loan forgiveness scams increase in light of Biden plan to cancel up to $20,000 per person