OMAHA — There is a myth regarding those who typically fall victim to scammers: Many believe older Americans are most frequently scammed when the reality is that young adults are more likely to be duped. Research by both the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission reveals that a startling 44% of those aged 20 to 29 have lost money to fraud. For those aged 70 to 79, the figure is 20%. Student loan forgiveness is one of the more frequent scams targeting young adults.
“Given that the current COVID-19 pause in federal student loan payments will end on Oct. 1, we expect to see an uptick in scam activity,” said BBB Regional CEO Jim Hegarty.
Scammers are likely to bombard loan holders with rip-offs that claim to offer “free extended forbearance!” and fictional “President Biden loan forgiveness plans!” The object of these scams is to steal young adults’ money and their identities.
How to identify a student loan scam
Criminals are trying to worm their way into the student loan repayment process. Weed out the scammers by remembering these warning signs:
» Upfront fees: Never agree to these. It is, in fact, illegal to charge an upfront fee for the service of lowering federal student loan payments or reducing student loan debt.
» Promised loan forgiveness or cancellation: No one can make such promises. Student loan debt relief companies don’t have the ability to so much as negotiate with a federal loan servicer.