Use caution if a company expresses urgency to “apply now” or offers to provide a service you could do yourself, such as enrolling in income-driven repayment or applying for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. When in doubt, contact your servicer directly using a phone number on its website — not a number given to you by a third party.
Find more information on student aid scams on the federal student aid site.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU'VE BEEN SCAMMED
If you were conned, remember that you’re not the first student loan borrower who’s been victim to predatory tactics. “It has nothing to do with how smart you are; it has more to do with how good they are at their swindle and how vulnerable you are at the time that they reach you,” Mayotte says. Regaining control of your account is the most important first step to take if it happens, experts say. Here’s how: • Sever all ties with the scammer. • Contact your servicer to report the account breach. You may need to request a new FSA ID. • C heck the contact information on your account and make sure all ongoing correspondence goes to you. • Contact your bank to stop any automatic payments to the scammer. • Freeze your credit. • Seek legal assistance for help recovering any money. • Report the scam to enforcement agencies.
HOW TO COMPLAIN ABOUT A SCAM
You can, and should, report any scam correspondence to multiple sources. The more complaints these agencies receive, the more ammunition they’ll have to pursue legal action against fraudsters. Scams can be reported to and are tracked by:
• Your federal student loan servicer. • The Federal Trade Commission. • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. • Your state attorney general’s office. • The U.S. Department of Education’s FSA Feedback Center.
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