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President Joe Biden recently announced plans for up to $20,000 in federal student loan forgiveness for some individuals. While details of the plan are still being worked out, the CEO of Breach Secure Now, Art Gross, noted that the program provides plenty of opportunity for scammers to try and trick individuals out of money and personal information. Gross points out that many people will be asking certain questions that scammers will be happy to answer (with false information).

What questions will people be asking that scammers will be looking to capitalize on?

  • Who is eligible and who isn’t?
  • How will the loans be forgiven?
  • Will people receive checks?
  • What are the deadlines?
  • What do I need to do?

It will be highly likely that phishing attempts will be made, encouraging individuals to click bad links in text messages or emails. As a good reminder, always be sure to verify any requests for personal information. The federal government will provide official directions on how individuals can apply for the student loan forgiveness program.

Gross is not the only one who is worried about scammers. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also issued a consumer alert warning Student Loan holders that scammers are just as aware of the new program as they are.

“You don’t need to do anything or pay anybody to sign up for the new program — or the pause. Nobody can get you in early, help you jump the line, or guarantee eligibility. And anybody who says they can — or tries to charge you — is (1) a liar, and (2) a scammer,” says the FTC.

In almost all of our award-winning cybersecurity training presentations, Stronghold Data emphasizes the need for vigilance when it comes to phishing, business email compromise, and other forms of social engineering. They are easy ways for people to get scammed out of money or personal information.

If you are a student loan holder, or know a student loan holder, don’t fall for a scam. Never give out personal information, or pay someone who makes promises such as eligibility, early forgiveness, or ‘jumping ahead of the line’.

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