OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Last week President Biden extended the suspension of student loan payments. It was the sixth extension in two years since the pandemic began.
While it may sound counterintuitive, scammers have been capitalizing on the roughly 41 million Americans with student debt.
The Better Business Bureau says it has seen a major uptick in student loan payment scams since Biden extended the suspension last Wednesday.
Scammers are promising student loan repayment programs or an opportunity to boost their credit score for paying off debt at a discount and asking potential targets to act now.
“Right, it’s sort of the out of sight, out of mind philosophy and once you get reminded that ‘Oh yeah, I still have all of this debt to pay off,’ you start looking for ways to cut corners,” the BBB’s Josh Planos said. “You start believing things that you otherwise wouldn’t because you might be in a bind, you might have racked up considerable student debt."
These emails serve as a reminder that the debt is still very real for those who have racked up college debt and will need to be solved in the not-so-distant future.
A BBB employee was a target recently and only noticed the email was fraudulent because the email address was missing the “u” in “edu.”
“It’s never been easier to lift a company’s likeness, its logo, its graphics, its marketing collateral, from the site and then repurpose them for scams than it is today,” Planos said. “It’s very easy to kind of get duped by seemingly authentic organizations and authentic communication, but a simple double-check of that email address is what prevented that employee from being scammed.”
Planos says you should always research the lender before making a payment or giving out your personal information.