More than forty-two million Americans have student loans with an outstanding balance of more than 1.4 trillion dollars so it is no surprise that scammers are focusing their attention on these students and former students through scams that falsely promise to provide debt relief. It was just a couple of weeks ago that I wrote about the FTC taking legal action against some of these scammers and now the FTC is announcing a settlement against Student Debt Relief Group run by Salar Tahour. According to the FTC, Tarlour and his companies stole more than 7.3 million dollars from unwary students. Under the terms of the settlement with Talour and his companies, Talour is permanently banned from the student loan business. Student Debt Relief Group tricked students into paying up to $1,000 in illegal upfront fees and kept money they had told their customers would be used to pay their student loans.
In October of 2017 the Federal Trade Commission, working with the Attorneys General of eleven states, launched what it cleverly calls, Operation Game of Loans to jointly target these scams.   Some scammers promise dramatic reductions of debt of 50% or more in return for upfront fees of between $500 and $2,500.  Often these scam companies have names that make it appear that they are endorsed by the federal government in order to trick people into trusting them. Talour’s companies had names such as Student Debt Relief Group and Student Loan Relief Counselors.
TIPS
The old adage still is true.  If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t true.  Many of these student loan debt relief scammers promise quick loan forgiveness, which is unrealistic.  In addition, you should never pay any upfront fees for student loan debt relief assistance.  Those fees are illegal and are a sure indication that you are being scammed.  Also, remember my motto, “trust me, you can’t trust anyone.”  Don’t trust scammers merely because they use names that sound like they are affiliated with the government.
For information you can trust about federal student loan repayment option, go to https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans .  There you can learn about loan deferments, forbearance, repayment and loan forgiveness programs and there is never an application fee.  If you owe private student loans, contact your loan servicer directly.
If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is to go to the bottom of the initial page of http://www.scamicide.com and click on the tab that states “Sign up for this blog.”