South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs
Carri Grube Lybarker, Administrator
September 8, 2022 | Release #22-13
Media Contact: Bailey Parker, (803) 734-4296
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Scammers follow the headlines and the news on student loan forgiveness is no different. Scammers have already started making phony calls offering deals or giving fake information to consumers, hoping to con them out of money and personal information. The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs wants consumers to know these key things as the new federal student loan forgiveness plan rolls out:
Do NOT pay or give over information to anyone for access to the new program. Scammers will offer to help you sign up for the new program or the extended payment pause, you just need to pay for “application fees” and/or give over private identifying information. The fakes may even try to act like your student loan servicer or the Department of Education to seem legitimate. You will not need to pay to apply for the program and enrollment details are still being worked out. Sign up for Federal Student Loan Borrower Email Updates from the US Department of Education to stay in the loop.
There is no way to “get in early” for loan forgiveness. No one, no matter who they claim to be, will be able to “get you in” early, help you jump the line or guarantee eligibility for student loan forgiveness.
Don’t fall for the high-pressure tactics. Scammers of every kind will try to get you to act fast to prevent you from thinking too much about their ask or having time to consult a friend or family member. This is one of the most common red flags of a scam.
If you think you may qualify, make sure you know your servicer and that your contact information is up to date. Knowing your servicer will help you spot a scam. To find out who your servicer is, visit your student aid dashboard or call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243. If someone cold calls you claiming to be your servicer and asking for payment or personal information, hang up and contact them at a number you know belongs to the servicer. Check to make sure the servicer has your correct contact information so they can let you know the latest on the cancellation or pause.
If you spot a scam or think you’ve been scammed, contact SCDCA by calling 1 (844) TELL-DCA (835-5322) or file a report online. For more tips on how to avoid scams, download our free guide to guarding against scams “Ditch the Pitch.”
The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs aims to protect consumers from inequities in the marketplace through advocacy, complaint mediation, enforcement and education. To file a complaint or get information on consumer issues, visit consumer.sc.gov or call toll-free, 1 (800) 922-1594.