BBB of Wisconsin: Be wary of student loan forgiveness scams

BBB of Wisconsin: Be wary of student loan forgiveness scams

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Students are back in class at Marquette University. As the fall semester begins, a word of caution about the federal student loan forgiveness program.

The Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin's monitoring for scams related to student loan forgiveness. So far, none are reported in Wisconsin, but a BBB spokeswoman expects that to change.

"We know that con artists will undoubtedly be there to take advantage of any confusion and there is confusion, and it happens with any big government initiative," said Lisa Schiller, spokesperson for the Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin.

On the Marquette campus, there's a buzz about the promise of $10,000 as this first day of classes finishes up.

"It would honestly help me so much," said Kimberly Kokotis, Marquette University junior.

Kimberly Kokotis is studying to be a nurse. Loans are getting her there, but paying back the money could be difficult.

"Because it keeps adding up and I'm still a junior. So I still have to go through senior year and pay through all of that," said Kokotis.

The Biden administration's $10,000 federal student loan forgiveness program has a lot of unknowns right now. In searching online for help, the BBB says be wary of what you may find.

"Scammers often make up lookalike government websites. They do a very good job of that. The government seals can easily be faked and so be leery of any government agency name," said Schiller.

Lisa Schiller says borrowers should know the terms of their loan so they'll recognize if something seems off.

"It's something that I've never really thought about," said Lizzie Littell, Marquette University sophomore.

"I think sometimes it falls on like parents, kind of helping to organize that, and kids just focus on their own educations," said Grace Peterson, Marquette sophomore.

The BBB advises borrowers watch out for so-called government agencies calling out of the blue to sign you up.

"The chance of the government calling you about student loan forgiveness is very, very slim to none so keep that in mind," said Schiller.

"Scammers love to trick victims into paying for free government programs, or they will claim that you can get additional benefits or faster benefits for a fee," said Schiller.

Bottom line, if something feels suspicious, report it immediately to the Better Business Bureau by clicking here

You can also send a fraud complaint to the Federal Trade Commission at the Better Business Bureau by clicking here

To sign up for email updates on the loan forgiveness program from the Department of Education, click here.

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