It's true Louisiana parents and students are being targeted by scammers on two fronts, the current baby formula shortage and the student loan forgiveness program. To be honest, it's quite sickening.

One of the frescos of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City depicts the world as we know it. Well, as Michaelangelo knew it back in the day. It shows average citizens going about their day. Civic leaders are doing what they do. The angels are depicted up in heaven. And, at the bottom of the painting, the part of the artwork that Michaelangelo deemed, "deep hell" he painted internet scammers.

Calvin Craig via Unsplash.com
Calvin Craig via Unsplash.com
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Okay, he didn't paint internet scammers in deep hell, he painted politicians and the guy who stiffed him on his commission. But if there were such a place as deep hell I know I would advocate for internet scammers to be placed in that purgatory without snacks for eternity.

Two recent news stories have given rise to two different scams across Louisiana. One of the scams involves student loan forgiveness while the other regards the national shortage of baby formula.

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Carlos_bcn, ThinkStock
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Here's what you'll want to be on the lookout for should the scammers contact you.

What is the Current Student Loan Scam?

In this scam, the bad guys are making unsolicited calls telling prospective victims their student loans qualify for "forgiveness" from the government. Student loan forgiveness has been a hot topic in the news lately, that's why scammers are zeroing in on this subject material.

The scammer tells his victim that their loans qualify for a program that offers much better rates than you can typically find. Naturally, in order to make the switch, the scammer is going to need some personal and financial information. Then once they have access to your financial profile they will proceed to remove your money.

Staff Photo
Staff Photo
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The Better Business Bureau suggest you familiarize yourself with the status of your current student loans if you have any. Most of those loans are on pause without penalty of interest because of the COVID pandemic.

And, there is a pretty good chance that all or some of that loan could be totally forgiven too.  The best way to know for sure is to contact your specific loan officer or the company that offered you the loan. This way, if you initiate the call, you'll know the information you're receiving is correct.

Lucy Wolski via UNsplash.com
Lucy Wolski via UNsplash.com
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What is the Baby Formula Scam?

This particular scam makes me sick to my stomach. The bad guys are preying on vulnerable parents who are willing to do almost anything to make sure their young children have the formula to drink. The scam usually manifests itself online. Here's what to look out for.

The online scammers will promise discounts, exclusive inventory, and direct delivery. The promises are usually made on social media accounts and not through normal advertising channels. The scammers suggest that a direct payment through Venmo or Paypal will ensure shipment of the formula they need.  But alas, it won't.

Courtesy CLECO.com
Courtesy CLECO.com
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Once you hit "Pay" on a service like Venmo or Paypal, your money is gone. So, make sure you completely understand the offer that is being made and that you have reviewed the company or individual that is making the "too good to be true" offer.

The Better Business Bureau also offered this cautionary advice concerning formula recipes and make at home formula kits. Not all of those have been properly vetted and researched. For the health and safety of your child do not attempt to make any of these "recipes" without consulting your paediatrician or health unit for advice.

If you suspect you've been scammed or are being scammed you can report that information to the Better Business Bureau right here. If you'd like to report a student loan scam that can be done here. As always if you feel you've been wronged contact local law enforcement, they'll direct you from there.

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