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Student Loan Collection Scammers, You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

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Written by: Chad Van Horn | Van Horn Law Group

Student loan collection scammers are everywhere. Even my mother has been the target of these lowlifes! She received a text saying, “WARNING: Call 855-425-7023 as your student loan account has been red flagged.” It’s been reported that calling this number gets you someone claiming to be from the Department of Education or even from the FBI, and they’re demanding money. This is obviously not the case. A fast Google search for this number turns up plenty of complaints, and people warning against the scam.

How to Spot Collection Scammers

It’s easy to understand how people could fall for scams like this. Student debt is a source of real anxiety, and even legitimate loan servicers have engaged in some shady or even outright illegal tactics to collect. What do you do when you can’t tell the white hats from the black hats? First of all, remember that even though you may owe money, you still have rights under federal law. Take a deep breath, calm down, and then use these methods:

  1. If you are contacted by someone claiming to be a debt collector, ask for the company’s name and address, the name of the person calling you (with a callback number) and the original creditor. If they are unwilling to provide this information and a Google search turns up nothing, you can bet that it’s a scam.
  2. If you have a student loan that’s outstanding, get your paperwork and call your servicer and check on the status of your account.
  3. If they threaten you and then offer to “help” you with your debt for an upfront fee, promising to make it all go away, or are demanding an amount that you could not possibly owe, don’t get flustered. Check your credit report. If it’s not on your credit report, it doesn’t exist.
  4. If you are threatened with legal action, request written notice of the debt to be sent to you via certified mail and that under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you do not wish to be contacted again.

Remember, no matter what, you should not pay them any money. Do not send money by PayPal or wire transfer, do not pay by credit card, do not give banking or login information to your student loan account. It’s hard to hold your ground and they run their scam this way because it works. Scared people can do impulsive things that can hurt them very badly later. You can even end up with your identity being stolen by someone overseas, and no hope of catching them. If you are ever contacted by these people, the Florida Office of the Attorney General should be your next call.

If you think you may have been caught by one of these scammers and worry that it’s damaging your finances, credit and life, we have you covered. Call my offices and we’ll let you know the options available to help you get back to normal. Remember, when it comes to scammers, a little Google can prevent a lot of problems.

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