“Operation Game of Loans” is the catchy name of a nationwide crackdown that covers 36 actions by the Federal Trade Commission, along with 11 states and the District of Columbia.
The targets are operators of debt-relief scams tied to student loans. These scammers allegedly have used “deception and false promises of relief” to take more than $95 million in illegal upfront fees from U.S. consumers over several years, says the FTC.
Student loan debt affects more than 42 million Americans. Outstanding balances stand at more than $1.4 trillion. Student loans are the second largest segment of U.S. debt, after mortgages.
“Winter is coming for debt relief scams that prey on hardworking Americans struggling to pay back their student loans,” said Maureen K. Ohlhausen, FTC Acting Chairman. “The FTC is proud to work with state partners to protect consumers from these scams, help them learn how to spot a scam, and let them know where to go for legitimate help.”
In addition to its state partners, the FTC has been working closely with the U.S. Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid to raise awareness about student loan debt relief schemes, and ensure that borrowers know to visit StudentAid.gov/repay for information about existing repayment and forgiveness programs available to them at no cost.
For more on the FTC/state crackdown, click here.