Consumer Payment Card News

Robocall Scammers Target Student Debt & Cut-Rate Healthcare

Robocall scammers continue to grow in sophistication such as “neighborhood spoofing” allowing robocalls to look like local calls. Stressed out student loan borrowers are prominent on the radar of scammers. The scams are also fooling some people because it is open enrollment for many health insurance plans. 

Healthcare Robo Scam

The scams are fooling some people because it is open enrollment for many health insurance plans. They often suggest that existing healthcare accounts have been compromised, or they offer extremely low-priced plans. Scammers almost always attempt to get consumers to share sensitive information.

According to Ameritech Financial there were nearly 500 million robocalls in October relating to healthcare, nearly 10% of the 5.1 billion robocalls to Americans that month.

Student Loan Robo Scam

Student loan borrowers are also prominent on the radar of scammers. One fraudulent robocall targeting students with school loans suggests that the Department of Education is no longer accepting entry into the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. The call entices borrowers to sign up for long-term forbearance and stop future payments. Similar to the other scams, the idea is to string callers along until they give up credit card or social security information.

Robo Scam Playbook

Scammers employ the same A-B testing as marketers, constantly shifting to techniques that are most effective. In one highly unnerving call, scammers appear to be calling from the phone number of the person receiving the call. Scammers then say that their cell phone account has been flagged for security purposes. They eventually ask for social security information or credit card numbers to clear up this non-existent issue.

Scam robocalls play upon the anxiety, greed, or naivete of callers. The most common calls are for cut-rate healthcare, telecom “warnings,” “free vacations,” and “help” with student loan debt.

Ameritech Financial, a document preparation company, assists borrowers in applying for and maintaining enrollment in federal repayment programs, such as income-driven repayment plans (IDRs) that can possibly lower monthly payments based on income and family size.