COLUMBUS, Ohio — Organizations, like the Better Business Bureau, have seen an increase in student loan scams.
The U.S. saw over 4.8 billion robocalls last month, which is up almost two million from September.
One of the biggest contributors to the increased scams is technology. Scammers often use technology to fake official government websites and use legit looking phone numbers. The U.S. Department of Education will call you regarding your loans, but they will not ask for personal information. Scammers will use artificial intelligence to look and sound like legit government programs or departments.
“AI is also opening doors for making voices sound like someone else or, you know, kind of this deep fake, making it look real and it's not,” said Judy Dollison, who serves as the President of the central Ohio BBB. “Technology makes it harder for us to identify a scammer and that's really where we're seeing a lot of changes happen.”
In response to the increased scams, Dollison said that there are some red flags to make borrowers skeptical.
“They might say they have to pay a processing fee in order to take advantage of this lower rate,” said Dollison. “They don't ask for personal information like the federal student aid I.D. number. That can lead to identity theft and in some cases, they'll even set you up on new monthly payments that are at a lower rate, but it's through a scam company so you're just making these payments to the scammer. You're not really paying down on your loan.”
The BBB suggests using its scam tracker website to either report or lookup a scam.You can also find accredited debt relief programs and websites through the Better Business Bureau.