Education 2.0 Conference Reviews The Problem Of A New Student Loan Scam
Student loan scams have become common in recent years as more and more students struggle to pay for college and turn to student loans for help. Unfortunately, scammers have taken advantage of this situation, preying on vulnerable students and taking their money through fraudulent schemes.
At Education 2.0 Conference, experts discussed the various scams used to exploit those taking out student loans and what you can do to protect yourself.
What Are Student Loan Scams?
Student loan scams are fraudulent schemes designed to trick students into giving money to scammers. Occurring in many different forms, scammers have the same goal: to steal money from unsuspecting students.
Some of the most common types of student loan scams include:
- Advance fee scams – In an advance fee scam, a scammer will promise to help a student get a loan but will need the student to pay an upfront fee first. Once the student pays the fee, the scammer disappears, and the student never receives the loan.
- Scholarship scams – In a scholarship scam, a scammer will promise to help a student find and apply for scholarships but will need the student to pay a fee first. Once the student pays the fee, the scammer disappears, and the student never receives any scholarship money.
- Loan consolidation scams – In a loan consolidation scam, a scammer will promise to help a student merge their loans into one payment but will need the student to pay an upfront fee first. Once the student pays the fee, the scammer disappears, and the student’s loans are not consolidated.
- Debt relief scams – In a debt relief scam, a scammer will promise to help a student reduce or end their student loan debt but will need the student to pay an upfront fee first. Once the student pays the fee, the scammer disappears, and the student’s debt is not reduced or eliminated.
Student Loan Scams Are A Growing Phenomenon:
As discussed at Education 2.0 Conference, here’s what to watch out for –
Scammers use social media to target students who may not be familiar with the terms and conditions of their loans or the process of paying them back. Scam emails are often sent from fake email addresses and fake links. That directs you to websites where you’ll find information about your student loans. You can then pay them off with a wire transfer fee or other charge added onto your account balance immediately after opening an account (“automatic billing”)
Expert discussions at Education 2.0 Conference explained how student loan scams work by taking advantage of the fact that many students desperately need money to pay for college. Scammers use a variety of tactics to lure students into their schemes, including:
- Cold calling – Scammers will call students out of the blue and offer to help them with their loans.
- Online ads – Scammers will place ads online promising to help students with their loans.
- Fake websites – Scammers will create fake websites that look like legitimate loans or scholarships to trick students into giving them their personal information.
The scammer may ask for a payment upfront to help the student with their loans. Once the payment has been made, the scammer disappears, and the student never hears from them again.
As learned at Education 2.0 Conference, student loan scams have become common. This makes it essential for students to take proactive steps to protect themselves. Scammers are coming up with new and creative ways to trick students, making it important to be aware of common tactics scammers use.
Here are some extra ways that students can protect themselves from student loan scams:
The first step in protecting yourself from scams is to stay informed. Be aware of the different types of scams out there and the tactics that scammers use. Many resources are available online, such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which provides information on how to avoid scams.
- Be Cautious Of Unsolicited Offers
Be cautious of any unsolicited offers you receive. These may include financial offers etc. Many scams begin with a cold call, email, or message, and often, they offer something that seems too good to be true.
- Don’t Pay Upfront Fees
As discussed at Education 2.0 Conference, legitimate loan and scholarship programs do not need upfront fees. It is likely a scam if someone asks you to pay an upfront fee. Some scammers will ask for an upfront fee to process your application or to help you merge your loans. But, legitimate lenders or loan servicers will deduct any fees from your loan amount and not ask for any upfront payments.
- Watch Out For Aggressive Sales Tactics
Be wary of aggressive sales tactics, such as high-pressure sales tactics or threats of legal action. Scare tactics may be used. Always remember that legitimate organizations will never use these tactics.
- Verify The Legitimacy Of Companies
Before working with any company or organization, verify their legitimacy. You can do this by checking with the Better Business Bureau, reading reviews online, or verifying your business license or registration. It’s also helpful to look for independent verification of their services from trusted sources like the FTC.
- Check For Secure Websites
Scammers often create fake websites that look like legitimate loans or scholarships to trick students into giving them personal information. Always check for secure websites that use HTTPS and have a lock icon in the address bar.
- Protect Your Personal Information
Never give out personal information to anyone you don’t trust, such as your social security number, bank account information, or password, to anyone you don’t trust. Scammers can use this information to steal your identity, leading to serious financial and legal problems.
Regarding student loans, you need to be aware of potential scams. Education 2.0 Conference highlighted the importance of educating students and their families on the dangers of such scams. To avoid becoming a victim of student loan fraud, you should always do your research and be wary of suspicious offers or deals. Stay alert and take precautions to protect your finances from these financial predators.
If you believe you are a victim of student loan fraud, contact your lender immediately to report any suspicious activity and seek help from an experienced consumer protection attorney. Education is key to staying safe in the student loan market, and knowing what to look out for can help you make smart decisions.