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Be Aware of Scammers in Times of Crisis

Published April 19, 2021


Life & Career

As we continue to deal with the impact of a global health pandemic and rely on our governments and institutions to help us protect ourselves and others, we wanted to take a moment to make you aware of a potential red flag concerning your finances.

Often, during times of national distress, the activities of criminals and fraudsters increases—and the same may be true during the current coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Criminals use highly sophisticated and often successful techniques to gain a consumer’s trust and obtain information from unsuspecting people by targeting their bank accounts and other financial services.

USA.gov has identified the following common scams and frauds around financial services:

  • Telephone scams. A fraudulent caller makes claims such as opportunities to invest your money, buy things for a bargain, etc. Other times they might make threats of lawsuits if you don’t respond to their request immediately.
  • Banking scams. A scammer will attempt to access your bank account, by means of overpayment claims, unsolicited check fraud, account withdrawals, and phishing.
  • Investment Scams. These scammers promise unrealistic investment opportunities with high returns and no risk.
  • Government grant scams. These situations involve scammers trying to get money from you by guaranteeing a grant for college, or other expenses like auto or home repairs. They’ll often ask for your checking info to deposit the money or a “one-time processing fee.” Know that government grants are rarely rewarded to individuals.
  • For more info on these scams and how to report scams, visit the USA.gov website.
  • Check out the Federal Trade Commission’s warnings on possible scams at: Coronavirus: Scammers follow the headlines and FTC & FDA: Warnings sent to sellers of scam Coronavirus treatments.

Please note, your financial services providers, including Laurel Road, may continue to keep in touch with you to provide service through legitimate calls, emails, and texts. Laurel Road and its affiliates (such as MOHELA for Student Loans) may ask for:

  • Your account number(s)
  • Your social security number to verify your account

But we’d never ask for:

  • Your password (including a “one-time” password)
  • Your username
  • Answers to account security questions

For more information on scams from MOHELA, please click here. Or, if you have any questions or concerns regarding suspicious calls or activity relating to the servicing of your student loans, contact MOHELA at 888.866.4352 (Toll Free).

As always, Laurel Road is here to discuss any concerns you might have and to be helpful in any way we can. Please reach out to us for further assistance at 1-833-427-2265 (TDD/TYY: 1-800-539-8336), or email [email protected].

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