FCC Blocks Student Loan Fraud Robocalls

Telecom companies must stop making robocalls involving fraudulent student loans, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ordered on Thursday.

In a press release, the FCC said it believes that Urth Access, LLC, along with affiliates, generated over 40% of student loan robocalls in October alone.

The FCC’s enforcement office has now ordered that all US voice service providers “take all necessary steps to avoid carrying robocall traffic from Urth Access.” The FCC previously warned of a spike in automated calls in November and gave service providers clearance to stop service to Urth, while this order now obliges them to do so.

“We will continue to use every tool in our arsenal to deny malicious actors access to U.S. communications networks to further their schemes,” FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Loyaan Egal said. “This targeted enforcement action provides U.S. telecommunications providers with the information necessary to apply the ‘Know Your Customer’ principles to help protect consumers from the individuals and entities identified in this order.”

The student loan debt robocalls followed President Joe Biden’s announcement of the student loan forgiveness program in August, the FCC said, and the robocalls include pre-recorded messages offering student loan forgiveness or assistance.

Many of them refer to an entity like the Student Loan Center, which doesn’t exist. The calls included threats that student loan payments would resume as normal if income was not verified by January 1, 2023, and that they would need to verify their income with the RoboCall center to “obtain full discharge.” .

The FCC said users should be aware of any student loan calls asking for bank account or credit card information and any calls that direct them to any website other than StudentAid.gov.

“Scam robocalls try to pull off the headlines to confuse consumers,” said Chair Jessica Rosenworcel. “The latest trick in your playbook? Trying to take advantage of people who want help paying off their student loans. Today we are shutting down these scammers so they can’t bother offering student loan debt relief as a cover for fraud.”

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*Initial publication: December 8, 2022 at 4:58 pm CST

Jacob Seitz

Jacob Seitz is a freelance journalist originally from Columbus, Ohio, interested in the intersection of culture and politics.

Jacob Seitz

https://www.dailydot.com/debug/fcc-robocall-student-loan-scams/ FCC Blocks Student Loan Fraud Robocalls

Jaclyn Diaz

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