Scammers target student loan borrowers ahead of pandemic pause on repayments ending

WASHINGTON — We deal with it all the time – those annoying scam calls from someone pretending to work for the government or a recording telling you to act fast to get a supposedly exclusive offer.

There’s now a warning from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) about scammers targeting people with federal student loans to try and confuse them and potentially steal their personal information.

It comes as the pandemic pause on repayments for federal student loans is ending at the end of January 2022.

“Just a reminder the program is going to expire,” one potential scammer said in a voicemail.

“You must get enrolled within the next 24 hours,” another scam call said.

“Scammers often make big promises but anything that you’re actually eligible for, any sort of assistance, you can do for free yourself by working with your student loan servicer or working with the Department of Education,” said Dan Dwyer, a Staff Attorney with FTC. “Scammers want your personal information including your federal student aid ID or FSA ID or your Social Security number or whatever it is they can get to get money from you.”

The FTC says you should never have to pay an upfront fee.

Never give out your federal student aid ID and don’t sign up for anything claiming to give quick loan forgiveness.