Googles searches for ‘student loan scam’ were up 143%. recently.
We found there were over 1,000 Google Searches for ‘student loan scam’—up 143% on the past month.
US students are being urged to take better care of their financial security amidst the wave of recent student loan forgiveness scams causing Google Searches on the subject to spike.
What are loan forgiveness scams?
Whilst there are some real loan forgiveness programs on offer, there are many more sinister scammers looking to take advantage of hopeful students and grads by luring them in with enticing loan forgiveness offers.
Some common traits of a student loan forgiveness scam include:
- Contacting you about urgent / limited-time offers, in the hopes you respond quickly before you realise it’s a scam.
- Asking for up-front payment—all ED-approved loan servicers are free and will never charge for student loan services.
- Requesting your Federal Student Aid (FSA) credentials—the ED can access your account without these details, so a request for these is a red flag.
- Encouraging you to cut contact with your current loan servicer, hoping that this lack of communication will make it harder for the scam to be spotted.
- Promising to provide immediate and total loan forgiveness. If it’s sounds good to be true, it probably is.
Half of US Gen Z’s have been scammed before
Young Americans in particular are being warned to take security precautions as it’s revealed that 45% of US college students have previously fallen for a scam.
But it isn’t that Gen Z aren’t trying to protect themselves—76% of US Gen Z’s claim to never open suspicious emails and 62% say they review their bank statements regularly to monitor any changes.
Unfortunately, 63% do admit they’ll happily open personal documents in a public space whilst 76% say they’re happy to use public wifi.
Measures Gen Z take to protect their financial security
- Not opening suspicious emails – 76%
- Reviewing my bank accounts regularly for any changes – 62%
- Covering my pin when at an ATM – 59%
- Confirming with my bank directly if I receive a suspicious message from them – 49%
- Not opening personal documents in a public space – 37%
- Only using passwords that are longer than 12 characters – 34%
- Not having the same password for multiple logins – 33%
- Changing my passwords regularly – 28%
- Not using public WIFI – 24%
- Using a VPN – 22%
- Using an RFID blocking wallet or purse – 10%
- Only using encrypted USBs – 7%
- None of the above – 3%
Will Briggs, Chief Financial Officer at Student Beans, says: ‘It’s vital that students and young people, in general, are aware of the risks of scams but also the precautions they can take to protect themselves. We know that scams are becoming increasingly sophisticated and it’s continuously becoming harder to identify suspicious activity.’
‘Young people should be especially mindful of the information they share online, whether this is sharing personal information like addresses or even revealing your course and college. Any personal information could be used against you by scammers.’