WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The Federal Trade Commission announced Oct. 13 that, along with 11 states and the District of Columbia, it will coordinate an initiative aimed at deceptive student loan relief scams.
The federal-state law enforcement operation is called “Operation Game of Loans” and encompasses 36 FTC and state attorney general actions to crack down on scammers who falsely promise relief and steal more than $95 million in upfront fees from American consumers over a period of years.
According to the FTC, more than 42 million Americas are saddled with student loan debt; outstanding balances measure $1.4 trillion. This is 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,” acting FTC Chairwoman Maureen K. Ohlhausen said. “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.”
The FTC is joined in the operation by Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, and the District of Columbia.