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FTC continues to crack down on student loan scams

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A lot of us have student loans – and some of us have trouble paying them every month. Some companies claim to resolve that issue by saying they can help you pay them down quicker, cheaper or get them forgiven altogether. Be cautious – some of these companies are running scams.

Here are some tips to avoid student loan repayment scams:

  • Never pay an upfront fee. It’s illegal for companies to charge you in advance before helping you to reduce or get rid of your student loan debt.  Companies that make you pay upfront might give you no help and not give your money back.  
  • Only scammers promise fast loan forgiveness. Before they know your situation, scammers might say they can quickly get rid of your loans through a loan forgiveness program. But they can’t.
  • A Department of Education seal doesn’t mean it’s legit. Scammers use official-looking names and logos and say they have special access to certain federal programs. They don’t.
  • Don’t share your Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID with anyone. Scammers could use it to take control of your personal financial aid information on U.S. Department of Education websites.

Last month, the FTC announced a lawsuit against American Financial Benefits Center (AFBC), Financial Education Benefits Center (FEBC), AmeriTech Financial, and Brandon Demond Frere as part of its crackdown against unlawful student loan debt relief practices, Operation Game of Loans. The FTC alleges that the companies charged illegal, upfront fees and failed to deliver on their promises to enroll people into a government program that they claimed would permanently lower monthly loan payments or result in total loan forgiveness.

The FTC also alleges the companies charged a monthly fee for the life of the loan (typically 10-25 years) and represented that the fee would go towards the student loan balance. But it didn’t.

You don’t have to pay for help with your student loans. There’s nothing a company can do for you that you cannot do yourself for free: federal borrowers can start with; private borrowers can start by talking with their loan servicer.

Spotted a scam? Let us know about it.


I have gotten several such calls. They leave a voicemail. They give their name (latest so far, Sharon Rogers, Stephanie Lawrence), a phone number (866-292-5115, 866-817-5665) and reference numbers. They sound very professional, but the script they read is pretty much the same. I have never had a federal student loan or any other kind of student loan. I wish law enforcement could get them and close up their shop.

Same thing happened to us. have gotten several such calls. They leave a voicemail. They give their name (latest so far, Sharon Rogers, Stephanie Lawrence), a phone number (866-292-5115, 866-817-5665) and reference numbers. They sound very professional, but the script they read is pretty much the same. I have never had a federal student loan or any other kind of student loan. I wish law enforcement could get them and close up their shop.

‭SCAM, SCAM, SCAM! -Student Loan Forgiveness of Urgent Matter- Left following message on my phone. Number traced to apartment complex in New Jersey. Apartment complex actually had a BBB rating of A+. Young woman’s voice was very convincing.. Our loan had been paid in full a few years ago so I called thinking there was a problem. Machine asked if my student loan debt was over $10,000, if so press 1 if no press 2. Pressed two and was told I did not qualify for this program. It was convincing up until the recorded man’s voice began speaking.

*SCAM SCAM SCAM +1(405) 243-4332‬ ‭(888) 809-6026‬ “I guess this is _⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_ up my agent ID is 9158 and I'm calling in reference to your student loans I need to discuss your payment options this emergency _⁠_⁠_ to see _⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_ _⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_ affect recently so if you can call me back my number is 888-809-6026 and _⁠_⁠_⁠_ when you get your reference number and _ _⁠_⁠_ you when you call back in just gonna make things so much easier if you have that you do 00367 hello this is time sensitive _⁠_⁠_⁠_ _⁠_⁠_⁠_ _⁠_⁠_ an _⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_ this _⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_ open on the _⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_ _⁠_⁠_⁠_ Wednesday again the number is 888-809-6026 thank you…”

I have received these calls. At first was afraid they may have called the wrong number as I have never had any student loans. I entered the number on my contact list but the next time I got a call it came from different #. Same person but different # and different case file #. If I don't recognize the phone number these days, I don't answer. My friends and family would leave a voice mail message. I know it can be hard to ignore a ringing phone but that is what I do.

I thought because of the FCC crack down on Student Loan calls (which I was getting several per month) that I would get no more? Wrong, got one today. Came from: 9367207742.

I have been receiving scam calls for 3-4 years about student loans, that i have made arrangements with my loan service provider. They use robo calls and even when i try to be removed i still recieve these calls. What can be done about this?

Apparently the law suit brought by the FTC is not enough to shut this scam down. I received 2 calls just this morning (7/22/19) from 1-866-201-1282. They left a message to call back at 949-763-5396 and provided a "reference number" to use. When I asked the question if they have a loan connected to the reference number, they said no and could provide no detail on why I had been contacted. So I said why was I contacted then? They immediately said they didn't know and would remove me from their call list and abruptly hung up on me. We'll see if I get any more calls.

I had been paying AFBC monthly and to find out that none of the money went towards my loan forgiveness program but pocketed in some programs has been devastating. Now I'm trying to bit a house and can't is so frustrating . I paid them for 4 years thinking my student loans would be forgiven has been so stressful. I just wanted them to wipe my loan away for the lies they told me.

So she is using number 575-655-9601 now for me a New Mexico number. Ref number is same 770009 and I do not have a student loan what a bunch of crooks

No student loans...but no one will take my name/phone number off the list when I call! FRAUD

I continuously get calls to help pay my student loan. At one time right after it started I told them I’m a 67 yr old grandma and I have never been college of any kind, much less have a student loan! They apologized and said they would take me of their call list! Unfortunately for me, not only did they NOT take me off the list, they are still calling at least once a week! I am really tired of these calls, they leave a voicemail!

I keep getting phone calls on my Cell phone from various numbers. I keep blocking and they phone from a different number and the recording is the same voice and name is Kelly Wilson. And wants to talk about my paying back a federal student loan. and then give me my case number. Well I have news for them what college i do have i paid out of pocket for, no loans and i'm through with school i'm retired. LOL i get a kick out of them thinking they know me. What's more the phone number they call from is different then the number that the voicemail has picked up from there message.


Both numbers of scams. They say they are Student Loan Support Center. They will say they are out of California, Orange Country, or LA, but will not give you their address. People all need to be reported.

I get Robo calls from Shannon with student loan forgiveness everyday. I want it to stop. They are calling from 405-802 numbers.

I get calls everyday regarding lowering my student loan and this is the last day to respond. I’m 75 and never had a student loan and don’t want one. Getting tired of this everyday. I’m leary about pressing the prompts to opt out, talk to rep. Etc.

Too many student loan calls scams claiming to be student adviory board using 209, 714,855, 516,650,916 and other area codes. I told them wrong number and do not call. They won't stop calling.

California and New York robocallers calling on loan scams.


Bogus number left on voicemail 855-442-7288, when I hung up
and block their calls

734-291-0692 add this number student loan, scam,

these scammers have been Robocalling me on my "burner phone", and want to publish the numbers they called from: 213-451-4053 on 9/10/19; 725-214-2578 & 725-214-2581, all "operators" become nasty rude kids as soon as you expose the m.

Just called me from 725-214-2581. The number showed up as16672810279 as Telemarketer (AT&T blocked the call). I listened to the voicemail and was excited until I looked up the 725 number and found this :(. Seriously, I would've loved for this to be real. Thanks for the warning!

Got a call from +1-949-401-7789. Student loan scam

My wife has gotten a number of calls saying they can help her resolve her issues regarding her student loan. That's funny, because my wife has never had any loans let alone a student loan. Total B/S..... the number that calls is701-829-2018 and if we get more numbers I'll post them too.

I get these calls a bunch of times. I keep blocking phone numbers but yet they still keep calling me. I just screw with them until they hang up on me. Before long i will have the whole country on block

Received a voice mail telling me that my student loan forgiveness eligibility would soon run out. If I called this number: 844-333-3911, and gave my file number, SQ0919, I could begin the process of receiving a "Department of Education" loan forgiveness. So, I called. Did not even ask me my file number, but wanted information. I asked who I was speaking to. Told a Department of Education representative. So I said, "Don't you want my file number?" Upon which she disconnected me. A) I've had my MA since 1990. No loans. B) I know that the federal government DOES NOT CALL to inquire about money or ask personal information. Poor kids out there. The scam artists are on the prowl.

My college-student son just received a call telling him to call that same number and to use the same exact SQ file number. Thank goodness he knew to forward the voicemail to me for review.

I got a message today from 518-637-4280 asking to call back the same number 844-333-3911. This time from "Dinny Michaels, agent ID 425. The message said my student loan was accepted into the "Navia Settlement" but was not complete and to call the number before eligibility expires.

Funny - I paid off my last student loan payment in 1984. I guess these scammers have archeologists working for them now.

I got a call today from the same number with the same SQ0919. The message said I as accepted into some kind of student loan lawsuit and my loan was included in the settlement. I could receive up to 90% loan forgiveness. I need to call 844-333-3911 and use my personal validation code SQ 0919.... Ridiculous

I got the same call from the same number and they gave me the same code FQ0919, plus a settlement ID 1451. I always investigate the number before I call back and I never pick up the phone. Thank you because this forum keep us informed.

Got one today from 725-214-2581,"Sarah Wallace".

Yes--the same as everyone on this list: "Sarah Wallace" or some other fake name. Calling from Las Vegas: 725-214-2581.


1-866-955-8655 scam number.

Received, for the 3rd time within the last week, a call/messagefrom Jason Hunter using a Defiance, OH number 419-219-9424 and cell 949-346-1223 offering NEW programs to reduce my student loan. Asked Jason last week when i answered the phone to provide me with my personal details; name, college, loan number, etc., he stated he only had a loan ID number. Hmmmm, a loan with no name, only a phone number? Strange, as I graduated from college 40+ years ago and the cell phone he, and many others call is one the I acquired 20 years ago. How can a 20 year old number be associated to a supposed loan originated 44 years ago...without a name? SCAM FRAUD... Come on FTC shut these folks down now!

From 423-345-1363
Cites 725-214-2578
Date 11-11-2019
Same old fraudulent laziness, new numbers

My mom is 82 years old and they call 5xs a day they just called again at 6:30 pm Navient. I'm pretty sure my mom doesn't have a student loan

Received a voice mail from “Denise Michaels” (agent ID 4251) from ‭(660) 235-9809‬ tonight. Don’t have any students loans.

How do you stop the phone calls every day all day long they are non stop. I get them from different area codes different prefixes I probably receive about 10 a day and have for the last few months. It is so irritating they keep calling and calling and calling and I'm sick and tired of it. I block the number they call on another number I block that number the calling another prefix another area code. How are they getting all these damn phone numbers to call from.

I am so tired of getting these calls I have asked them I have tried to block which they seem to use fake numbers every time so they systematically call my cell phone and my house phone one after another these are such annoying calls at my age of 64


I also get so many calls I have decided to just start playing sound effects and talking in a very loud, annoying voice. If they're gonna bother me, I'll bother them. They hang up after I get a good laugh out of it.

They are at it again. Apparently the crack down was not sever enough. Tanya Perkins from "Student Loan Help Center" called using a spoofed number. Left call back number in Las Vegas area: 725-214-2578. Of course I don't have any student loans.

My mother received a voicemail from (225) 427-1845. It had a cleverly subtle, threatening tone that said if she didn't call back soon they'd "close out" her account. They gave the call back number (202) 318-6682. I gave it a call for giggles. A "virtual" assistant asked for phrases to direct my call. I went thru the prompts. When it "determined" that I owed less than $7K (I owe none), it hung up on me. So...only if you >$7K is it interested in scamming you.

Interesting... I've gotten the same calls - from Denise Michaels, Sarah Scott, and Kelly. The one from Denise Michaels gave me the same phone number and reference number as someone else who posted here (844-333-3911; SQ0919)

I have been getting calls from 646 numbers claiming to be "emily" or "angela" from the student loan forgiveness center on my work mobile. What's interesting is that I keep blocking each number and they'll call back from a different number and then when I call any of these numbers back, they actually belong to REAL PEOPLE. They are impersonating the phone numbers of actual New Yorkers! It's incredible.

Monthly calls about student loan forgiveness that is just ridiculous since I’ve never had student loans, jokes on them ! Phone # 725-214-2581 is the scammers #

Please have 323-917-9788 added to the robo call list. They call 2-3 times a day, then hang up. Annoying.

So I decided to call the numbers back that called me, (949) 346-1223 and 888-524-1283 and made these people aware that they are posted all over the Internet as Scam and what they are doing is illegal. They are asking for a fee to help "lower" student loan payments. Of course they sounded shock and super surprised, maybe they don't know they are working for a scam, but one gentlemen put the phone down and said I quit. Please before you give any of your information and money away, do your research!

Received several voice messages from what appeared to be telephone# (660) 230-1737. The caller said he was calling about my student loan forgiveness application. I’ve never applied for this, nor have I ever taken out a student loan, hence a little suspicious.

I have been getting calls about student loans forgiveness and I never ever had a student loan, FTC get on the ball and get these people. Calling me everyday now.

I had a call on my cell phone number asking me to call back about my student loan. I am 73 years old and graduated many years ago!!! It's a scam for certain. Call from 385-300-0141. Asked me to call back on 866-543-6069. Said my student code was 9777. This needs to be stopped. Others will get the same call and might call them back with uncertain consequences.

I am a 72 year old woman and I have NEVER APPLIED FOR A STUDENT LOAN. Yet I am being called repeatedly about Student Loan Forgiveness.


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