GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) — Almost as soon as the Biden administration announced student debt relief for millions of Americans, there were already scam artists trying to take advantage of it.
On Thursday, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Commerce and Consumer Protection warned people to watch out for scammers preying on those seeking debt relief.
As we reported on Wednesday, President Biden said he was cutting $10,000 in federal student loans for current students or college graduates who earn less than $125,000 a year. This opens up a new process that many people are unaware of, which leaves an opening for scammers.
State officials say scammers will use phone calls, text messages, emails and social media to contact people and seek their personal information. Social media is the most invasive because once you start looking for information on a topic, scams, which may seem legitimate, will start popping up in your feed.
“It’s complicated, so people tend to go to a company that claims to be able to simplify things, have a relationship with the government, can get rid of all your loans together for a small fee,” warned Lara Sutherlin, administrator of the DATCP.
Officials say you shouldn’t have to pay a fee to get help with 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 company or a debt settlement company that focuses on student debt, if they charge an upfront fee for that job , it’s illegal in our state,” Sutherlin said.
State officials say you should never give out your FAFSA ID.
Wisconsin has a Student Loan Helpline, 1-833-589-0750and one website for borrowers who have questions.
Scammers try to get your personal information or charge a fee for information you can get for free
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