GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – We’ve been glued to our TVs more than ever during the pandemic: streaming content, wildly watching a favorite series, and more.
However, scammers follow these trends, and now the Better Business Bureau is getting reports in its online scam tracker about people posing as Internet and cable television companies, and the calls can seem pretty convincing.
Many scammers use the same hold music as well-known cable companies and even duplicate the company’s call menu.
Scammers may claim that you are getting a discount because you overpayed on a recent bill or offer a special promotion.
To get the deal, you have to pay several months in advance using a prepaid debit card.
Legitimate companies don’t ask you to pay with prepaid cards or gift cards.
If you’re unsure about an offer, get the customer service number from the latest invoice or company website and call to make sure the offer is real.
Furthermore, the scammers also use the no-interest extension on student loans for the rest of the calendar year to their advantage.
The extension is part of the CARES Act, and borrowers with federally held student loans will automatically receive a six-month retroactive grace period to March 13 for eligible loans.
No payments will be due and no interest will accrue during the grace period, which previously lasted until September 30, but was extended until December 31 after President Trump signed an executive order to extend the period.
All automatic debit payments are automatically suspended, however borrowers may wish to cancel the automatic payment using their provider’s website to ensure that the money is not deducted before the suspension is implemented. If it has been deducted, borrowers can apply for a refund.
Officials say due to automatic tolerance, borrowers will need to be aware that their repayment terms may be extended, so the final payment date may be six months later than originally planned.
“What’s important to know: if someone calls you and says” Do you want to apply for this program? “this is a scam. You don[’t have to do anything, you don’t have to pay anything. You don’t have to fill out any forms. The federal government will put eligible loans in the program unilaterally without you doing anything. The second thing you need to know is not everything (all loans) applies,” said Lara Sutherlin, the Administrator for the Wisconsin Division of Consumer Protection.
The state has set up a student loan help hotline for anyone who has questions, or if you’re unsure if your loan is a private loan, or if you’re having a difficult time contacting your student loan provider.
The hotline can be reached at 833-589-0750 Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
State officials say the hotline will also help callers understand the CARES Act relief program, as well as determine where to find more personalized information from studentaid.gov, figure out where to find personal information from their school, servicer or lender, and can also offer guidance on payment grace periods, job loss and/or financial situations, and delinquent loan payments.
Officials add the hotline doesn’t ask borrowers for personally identifiable information such as your birthday or a social security number, or access specific loan information.
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