Scammers jump on Biden’s student loan debt relief

The debt relief plan opens an opportunity for scammers seeking your personal and financial information
Published: Aug. 25, 2022 at 3:47 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 25, 2022 at 10:26 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Almost as soon as the Biden administration announced student loan debt relief for millions of Americans, there were already scammers trying to capitalize on it.

Thursday, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection warned folks to be careful of scammers preying on those seeking debt relief.

As we reported Wednesday, President Biden said he’s eliminating $10,000 in federal student loans for current students or college graduates who earn less than $125,000 a year. It opens up a new process that many people are unfamiliar with, which leaves an opening for scammers.

State officials say scammers will use phone calls, texts, emails and social media to reach out to people and seek their personal information. Social media is the most invasive because once you start looking for information on a topic the scams, which may appear legitimate, will start appearing in your feed.

”It’s complicated, so people tend to gravitate towards a company that purports to be able to simplify things, have a relationship with the government, can get rid of all your loans together for a small fee,” DATCP administrator Lara Sutherlin warned.

Officials say you shouldn’t have to pay a fee for help on your loans. There are free resources available if you need information on student loan relief.

“In the state of Wisconsin, if it’s a ... student debt consolidation firm or a debt settlement company that focuses on student debt, if they’re charging an upfront fee for that work, that’s illegal in our state,” Sutherlin said.

State officials say you should never give your FAFSA ID.

Wisconsin has a Student Loan Help Hotline, 1-833-589-0750, and a website for borrowers who have any questions.

Scammers are trying to get your personal information or charge fees for information you can get for free