Beware of scams as student loan forbearance comes to an end – WSOC TV
CHARLOTTE — Many student borrowers haven’t had to repay their student loans during the pandemic, but they’ll have to start in less than two months.
The federal government has extended student loan forbearance measures until May 1. Scammers know this and see an opportunity to play on any confusion the change brings.
Toya, who asked Channel 9 not to share her surname, has student loans, so when she got an email about it, it didn’t strike her as too strange.
The email read: ‘We have tried to contact you at your home address and have not heard back. It looks like your student loan may be eligible for the recent Cares Act forgiveness and relief legislation…”
But there were red flags. The email did not include a company name and used a Hotmail address instead of an official business account. There were also several grammatical errors.
Fortunately, Toya was suspicious. “It didn’t sound good, so I copied it and sent it to you, to kind of see what was what,” she told Action 9’s Jason Stoogenke. never hurts to dig a little deeper to see if it’s really true, or if it’s just a phishing scam or something.”
The US Department of Education has information about scams on its website. It gives examples of suspicious calls, emails and text messages you might receive.
An example is like the email Toya received. It says, “You are now eligible to receive benefits from recent legislation that was passed regarding federal student loans, including full forgiveness under certain circumstances. Federal student loan programs may change. Please call within 30 days of receiving this notice.
“Anyone could fall for it,” Toya said.
Action Tips 9:
– Be suspicious of any calls, emails or texts that you did not request, especially if they are aggressive, urgent or if you have to rush to make a decision.
– Beware if it contains spelling mistakes, if it wants you to pay anything upfront or if it promises you a total cancellation of the loan.
– Never give out your username or password.
If you’re not sure you can trust which company will contact you, federal education officials have a list of trusted companies here.
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