This week, the Federal Trade Commission made an announcement regarding the distribution of $3.3 million to tens of thousands of victims who fell prey to a fraudulent student loan debt relief scheme. Arete Financial Group, a deceptive organization, claimed to be associated with the U.S. Department of Education, targeting individuals desperate to alleviate their monthly student loan burdens.
By promising to lower or eliminate interest charges, Arete convinced borrowers to make upfront payments. However, the scammers behind the operation dishonestly pocketed these payments without delivering the promised relief, as revealed by the FTC.
In 2019, the FTC accused Arete Financial and other companies of engaging in false advertising campaigns through various mediums such as radio, television, online ads, and telemarketing calls. These campaigns falsely offered loan forgiveness, consolidation, and repayment solutions. Unfortunately, Arete Financial consistently failed to deliver on their promises, failing to reduce or eliminate consumers’ loan balances or monthly payments.
Here’s what we know about the compensation payments:
• The FTC began sending checks to the 37,844 people who were victimized by Arete on Thursday, as confirmed by FTC spokesperson Nicole Drayton to Nexstar.
• The average amount of the checks is $88, but the actual payment varies depending on the amount the recipient paid to Arete.
• If you’re uncertain about whether you will receive a payment, the FTC advises calling the refund administrator at (855) 678-0558.
• Once you receive the check, the FTC recommends cashing it within 90 days.
• If you have any inquiries regarding FTC refund payments, you can visit the Commission’s website for more information.