How to Protect Yourself from Student Loan Phone Scams

Graduation cap on a pile of 100 dollar bills

For a growing number of students taking on a loan is the inevitable solution to pay for education costs. According to the U.S. Department of Education, there are 41.8 million Americans with outstanding federal loans – that’s one out of eight Americans. With student debt now at 1.2 trillion dollars and many borrowers struggling to pay off their loans comes an opportunity for debt relief scams to flourish.

While student loan scams have been around for several years, our data shows that they have become significantly more prevalent in recent months. In fact, our users reported ten times more scam calls and text messages in the first quarter of 2016 than in the previous quarter. Student loan phone scams are on the rise – so let’s find out where these fraudulent calls come from and how you can identify them:

Top Ten Area Codes Associated with Student Loan Scams:

  1. 214 (Dallas, TX)
  2. 267 (Philadelphia, PA)
  3. 301 (Greater Washington D.C.)
  4. 405 (Oklahoma City, OK)
  5. 419 (Northwest Ohio)
  6. 432 (Western Texas)
  7. 512 (Austin, Texas)
  8. 216 (Cleveland, Ohio)
  9. 319 (Southeastern Iowa)
  10. 323 (Los Angeles, California)

Five Signs of a Student Loan Scam:

  1. Callers may pretend to be affiliated with the federal government, particularly the U.S. Department of Education or the National Student Aid Center
  2. They will claim that your student loans have been pre-approved or flagged for refinancing
  3. They will offer to lower the interest rate on your loan through Obama’s Loan Forgiveness Program or Debt Relief Program
  4. They will ask about the amount of student loans you have
  5. They will ask for sensitive information like your social security number, your credit card information or your Federal Student Aid ID

The agencies behind these calls are known to deceive customers about the benefits of their services and charge hefty fees. The U.S. Department of Education affirms that you never have to pay to get help managing your student debt and offers free assistance on their website.

How You Can Protect Yourself fromScreenshot showing incoming scam call in Whitepages ID Scammers

An effective way to protect yourself from student loan scams and other fraudulent calls is Whitepages ID. The app identifies incoming calls and marks suspected scam and spam so you know when not to pick up the phone. If a scammer does get through to you, hang up immediately. Never give out any personal information. You can also help others in our community by reporting that number through the app.

Education loans are a pain in itself. Nobody needs the added burden of paying a scammer. Help us spread the word and protect those who are vulnerable to debt relief scams.

by Laura Mehrkens

One thought on “How to Protect Yourself from Student Loan Phone Scams

  1. Jenny says:

    This is a great read to help us deal with potential scammers that offer bogus loans for students over the phone. I always believe that we need to stop these types of people because they can ruin our financial plans. Thanks for sharing this article.

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