Student loan scams on the rise after payment pause extended

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Millions of people who owe federal student loans are getting a longer payment break.

Payments were put on pause during the pandemic. They were supposed to return on Jan. 31, but the pause was extended to May 1.

Since then, reports of scams are on the rise with scammers leaving messages like the following:

"This message is from the Department of Education. All programs of student loan forgiveness will be stopped immediately. In order for you to qualify, you must apply in the next 24 hours."

The Federal Trade Commission says phone, email and text scams are being blasted out right now to try and confuse people over repayments.

"They can convince you that you need to start paying again," Victoria Carreon, with the Better Business Bureau, said. "There’s also the classic scams where they try to convince you that they can help you consolidate your loans for a lower rate."

Here are some of the tips to avoid student loan scams:

  • Never pay an upfront fee
  • Don’t give out your Federal Student Aid ID or Social Security number
  • Don’t sign up for quick loan forgiveness
  • Be aware of fake seals and logos

"Consumers have to do homework and be diligent about who they’re interacting with," Carreon said.