(WXIN) — This “Liz” is not your friend. Delete her voicemail.
FOX59 in Indianapolis has run across a new variety of robocall scams — its news director, C.J. Hoyt, received a voicemail on his cellphone.
“Hey, it’s Liz with Student Advisor. I’m just giving you a call in regards to your school loan. I do have you pre-qualified here for the updated forgiveness program and possibly even loan discharge. It’s just imperative we go over the details just as soon as possible because it does look like your status will expire soon.”
Quite the offer. Just one problem: Hoyt has no outstanding college loans.
But “Liz” left a number to call her back… and we did.
STEVE BROWN: “I got a voicemail message from Liz. Is she available?”
MALE VOICE: “She’s in the marketing department. Do you have any questions about the program?”
STEVE BROWN: “And who are you?”
MALE VOICE: “We’re Enterprise Financial.”
STEVE BROWN: “I have to go through you to do this?”
MALE VOICE: “We assist you through the enrollment for the program, sir.”
STEVE BROWN: “Is there a charge for this?”
MALE VOICE: “Some programs do require fees.”
We had already checked the US Department of Education website. It emphatically warned: “Never pay an outside company for help with student loans. Your loan servicer will help you for free.”
When we confronted the male voice with this information, he hung up.
“This shouldn’t be costing you anything to get the loan forgiveness,” said Jennifer Adamany, of the Indianapolis Better Business Bureau.
Adamany noted the original voicemail from “Liz” was loaded with red flags.
“Always, always, always have your guard up when you get any unsolicited form of contact whether it’s through email, text or phone call,” explained Adamany.
Other signs someone is trying to scam you include generic sales pitches, offers from people or businesses that are unfamiliar. One of the most common parts of a scam is to prompt a potential victim to act quickly before “time runs out”.
Adamany said, “Scammers use that often as a pressure tactic because they don’t want you to sit there and actually think it through because then you have time to see those red flags.”
The official application for federal student loan forgiveness will be through the US Department of Education. It will open in October. Applicants are urged to complete the application process prior to Nov. 15.