Beware of student financial aid scams


There is no question that student loan and financial aid scams are on the rise.

Now, more than ever, you need to be especially careful with phone calls and emails that may appear to be from your lender or university.

Some of these scams are aimed at stealing student loan repayments and phishing which can lead to identity theft. Others seek to wreak havoc by infecting computers and devices with malware.

A common phone scam involves someone calling about a federal student loan, stating that they need to alert you to certain changes that went into effect with your loan payment. The caller also provides a code to use to redial the number. But when asked, the scammer often provides a fake company name and won’t provide a city or address.

The Federal Trade Commission has also issued an alert regarding a financial aid scam linked to COVID-19.

Students receive an email that appears to be from their university’s financial department, with a message on their COVID-19 economic stimulus check. They are invited to click on a link, using their student ID for more information.

However, the link may contain malware and can be used to phish additional information.

If you get a suspicious call or email about a student loan, stimulus payment, or financial aid, don’t provide any information or click any links until you’ve checked things out. It may be best to contact the university or your lender at a phone number that you know is legitimate.

To report this scam or for more information about student loans and financial aid, contact the Federal Trade Commission or the US Department of Education.

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