Scam phone calls on the rise in Columbia

10 months 3 weeks 2 days ago Monday, November 27 2017 Nov 27, 2017 Monday, November 27, 2017 3:12:00 PM CST November 27, 2017 in News
By: Jacob Seus, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA- The Better Business Bureau is warning Columbia residents of student loan scam phone calls.

The calls are telling people that they have student loans that must be paid off immediately. The scammer asks for the recipient’s social security number and personal information.

Regional Director of Better Business Bureau, Sean Spence, said the scammers are calling people at random and hoping that they have a student loan.

“Our recommendation would be to ignore these phone calls,” Spence said. “It will be really difficult for people to ascertain if this is a scam call or a real call.”

Spence said there is little anybody can do to stop these calls.

“The student loan calls are really some of the more popular phone calls that people are going to get,” Spence said. “They will target certain age groups and limits but they are still very common.”

Spence has a few tips for someone worried about getting these calls.

 1. Ignore any calls you think may be illegitimate

2 If 2. If they are calling you, make sure you check it out before you do anything.

3.     3. Call the bureau or local police to make them aware.

The bureau will be able to tell you if the calls or common and if they may or may not be legitimate.

“Under no circumstances do you want to give them any personal or financial information,” Spence said. “Tell them to give you a website or number you can call them back before you do anything.”

Columbia resident, Dustin Gonnerman, has received three to five of these calls every day and alerted the Better Business Bureau of the scam.

“It is an automated machine,” Gonnerman said. “They tell me that this is my last chance to consolidate my student loan debts.”

Gonnerman has no student loans so it was clear to him this was a scam. He is worried this might not be so obvious to people who are paying off college debt.

“I know there are a lot of people out there with a lot of student loans,” Gonnerman said. “People should not be asked to give out their social security and date of birth.”

Gonnerman has been actively trying to make people aware of this scam.

“I’m just trying to get the word out to be people that this is not legit,” Gonnerman said. “If I can help one person to avoid it then it is all worth it.”

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