FRANKFORT, Ky.(WBKO) -- The office of Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear is warning former and current college students about a phone scam.
A press release says students in Allen, Breckinridge, Clark, Daviess, Fayette, Jefferson, Kenton, Mason and Warren counties have reported receiving calls and voicemails from a woman claiming to have information about debt repayment plans. Some of those students say they do not even have loans.
Beshear's office said charging upfront fees before providing debt relief services is illegal for companies.
“Far too many Kentuckians already struggle to repay student loans and I don’t want them to get tricked by con artists and fall further into debt,” Beshear said. “The truth is, there are no services these fraudsters can offer that you cannot do on your own for free.”
The press release made the following suggestions for students to spot scams:
Never pay up front
Consolidating federal loan debt with the U.S. Department of Education is free and reputable private lenders don’t require upfront payment.
Watch out for impostors
Be wary of scammers pretending to be an employee of the federal government. Directly contact the Department of Education at StudentAid.gov or 800-433-3243, or independently contact your private loan servicer via a verified number or website.
Know that no company can promise fast loan forgiveness and never rush to qualify for repayment plans, loan consolidation or loan forgiveness programs.
Beware of legal tricks
Be wary if a company asks you to sign a “power of attorney,” a “third-party authorization” or other such agreements that give third-parties legal permission to talk to your student loan servicer and make decisions on your behalf.
Never provide sensitive information
Never provide your FSA ID or PIN or other personal and financial information to someone who randomly calls you over the phone or contacts you via email.
Beshear’s Office of Consumer Protection urges former and current students who feel they are victims of questionable services to complete a complaint form.