ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Almost as soon as federal student loan relief was announced, scams made their way into New York State. State officials are warning consumers that criminals are using the debt relief plan to steal money and personal information by impersonating government agencies promising immediate loan relief.
It comes shortly after Gov. Kathy Hochul inked legislation to simplify access statewide to the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which forgives a portion of outstanding loan debt for people who are full-time employees in public service organizations.
Officials said those looking to take advantage of student loan forgiveness should only go to “dot-gov” websites when seeking assistance. The U.S. Department of Education recently launched a webpage to provide borrowers with a one-stop location for accurate and up-to-date information about the student loan forgiveness program.
New Yorkers were also reminded to never trust any person or program that promises early access or guaranteed eligibility. The loan forgiveness application will launch in early October. Officials said there is no such thing as early access and borrowers should remember they never have to pay for help with their federal student aid.
As with any unsolicited contact via email or phone, you should never share your personal information, Federal Student Aid ID, or social security number with anyone. No one from the Department of Education will call or text you about the program. Real emails to borrowers will only come from “email@example.com.”
If you encounter a scam, report it on the Federal Student Aid website or to the Federal Trade Commission. For more consumer protection tips, follow the State Division of Consumer Protection on Twitter and Facebook.