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How to protect yourself against student loan forgiveness scams

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – If you get a call or letter about forgiving your student loans, it might be too good to be true. Student loan forgiveness scams are on the rise. While federal student loan payments are on pause until next year, some companies are claiming to work on behalf of the United States Department of Education, offering to eliminate student loan debt.

Since March of 2020, there have been calls for most, if not all federal student loans to be forgiven. And, in the middle of it all, there are actual companies alleging they can help you eliminate your student loan debt.

Which sounds great if you’re struggling with your loan payments, but Leslie Silva, a partner at Tully Rinckey, says it is all a trap. “Whoever your loan servicer is, they’re not going to call you and offer you anything. You have to go seek it out from them. If they call you and ask you for any information, do not give it to them. That is not legitimate,” Silva says.

Most of the companies calling people are targeting young adults with, and, in some cases, without student loans. If you did end up falling victim to one of these scams, Silva says there are a few things you need to do.

“You want to first contact your bank, contact your credit card company, contact a wire transfer company and see if they will refund that money to you to reverse that transfer,” explains Silva. Silva also says to contact the Federal Trade Commission and file a complaint. The FTC will look into the complaint and potentially bring lawsuits against any fraudulent companies.

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