Student loan scams target Miami Valley students


DAYTON – A college education is expensive and can be challenging to fund. Scammers prey on students who may find themselves in this difficult situation.

In fact, between January 2020 and April 2021, Better Business Bureau Scam Tracker received reports of 208 student loan scams.

One scam reported recently to BBB serving Dayton and the Miami Valley involved an email sent to an Enon-area student. The scammer provided her name and agent ID number and stated the student was eligible for the recent stimulus forgiveness and relief legislation because of the student’s existing student loans. The email claimed an application needed completed.

The student was given a phone number to call to start the process. The email mentioned the benefits were on a first-come, first-serve basis. There was also a personal validation code given to the student to provide when he made the call. At the end of the email, it said the company name was Student Services and provided a Nevada address.

Fortunately, the recipient didn’t fall for it because he didn’t have any active student loans.

The local BBB did investigate the notification. The phone number provided in the email is known to be associated with student loan forgiveness scams, according to www.reddit.com and www.scammer.info. The name of the business, Student Service, isn’t registered with the Nevada Secretary of State.

When BBB staff searched the address given, Google Maps showed the address doesn’t exist. The email address used was also a red flag because it was a Hotmail account.

BBB offers tips to help you avoid these scams:

• Look for spelling and grammar errors in notifications. Typically, scam emails have both.

• Avoid high-pressure sales tactics.

• Protect your personal information. Don’t provide it to unfamiliar companies.

• Be wary of providing money up front for services.

• Don’t click on links in unsolicited emails. They may be infected with spyware or malware.

• Research businesses before doing business with them.

• Visit studentaid.gov for information on loan repayment and forgiveness.

For more information about student loan scams, visit the BBB website at BBB.org or call 937-222-5825 or 800-776-5301. If you have fallen victim to a scam, report it to BBB.org/ScamTracker.