HONOLULU (KHON2) — President Joe Biden’s announcement to forgive some student debt is welcome news for many students and graduates but scammers are celebrating as well.
Experts say confusion surrounding the new program creates the perfect opportunity for fraud.
The Better Business Bureau says most folks paying off their student loans were used to the terms of their plan before the president’s announcement.
“But the relief program, they just announced it. So it is going to take time for them to roll that out,” said Roseann Freitas, the BBB Hawaii Marketplace manager.
“So people will need to be patient, this isn’t going to happen overnight, and you really need to wait for the government to issue that information and not rely on the third party,” said Freitas.
Those third parties could be text messages, emails or even phone calls from someone pretending to be from the federal government.
“We all know that the government is very busy and they’re going to be a lot of people impacted by this. They are not going to be calling you to give you money back,” said Freitas.
“So if someone is offering to make this easier, expedite the process for a fee, that should be a red flag,” said Freitas. “This is not the government encouraging this, this is someone trying to take advantage of the situation.”
The BBB says ed.gov and studentaid.Gov are the two websites to report any fraud relating to loan forgiveness. So watch out for any phony agencies or programs, and be careful with any information that doesn’t come from official sources.
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“Whether it’s a close friend or even a family member who is trying to actually help you. However, they may have gotten misinformation as well,” said Freitas.