Students are being targeted in this scam in which scammers claim the student has defaulted on their student loans.

Who It Targets: College students

How It Works: This particular scam has currently only been known to happen at one specific university, but there’s no reason to believe scammers will limit themselves to one location, or that others won’t attempt to “copycat” this type of fraud. Using a phone number clone, a scammer calls the student and the phone number for the university’s financial aid office appears on the caller ID. The caller claims the student has defaulted on his student loan or has committed some other type of indiscretion with the funding, and a warrant has been issued for his arrest. Fortunately, the student can make a payment over the phone that will undo the damage.

How to Avoid It: As with all scams in which the caller demands payment immediately over the phone, this one isn’t real. You will never be assessed a fine, especially not for a criminal matter, and then be expected to make a payment out of the blue. You will also receive this kind of notification in writing through the mail, and not from a telephone cold call.

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