(CBS) — The average person paying off student loans owes $29,000. For those struggling to pay, offers to help ease the load sound tempting.Surveilence Video Shows Moments Leading To The Arrest Of Allan M. Brown, Suspect In Kenosha Police Shooting
CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports someone you’d least expect to be a victim was blindsided by the pitch.
He’s young, educated, and one of Chicago’s finest, and now he feels like a victim.
“I let my guard down. Being a Chicago police officer, you never let that happen,” Robert Caulfield says.
But $50,000 in student loan debt made Caulfield a desperate man. So, when Student Loan Resolve popped up on his Facebook, he clicked the link.
“They had what they called a ‘public servant assistance,’” Caulfield, a father of two daughters, says.
He says they promised to consolidate his loans and reduce his monthly payments from $400 to $250 a month. But after paying the company several hundred dollars, Caulfield discovered his loans had not been consolidated — in fact, they weren’t being paid.
“I just dug myself a ditch,” he says.
The Better Business Bureau gives Student Loan Resolve just a C+ rating.READ MORE: 5 Wounded In Mass Shooting In Chatham
“Robert’s is a typical complaint we see at BBB, where you have a company promise to help him out and they don’t deliver,” says the organization’s president, Steve Bernas.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan sued two debt relief companies last year, including First American Tax Defense. Now, she is going after five more, including Student Loan Resolve.
“We’ve started to see complaints skyrocket,” Madigan says.
According to Experian, 40 million people owe $1.2 trillion in student loan debt. Madigan says many are struggling to pay and end up being victims because they are desperate.
“The problem is, once you contact the scammers, they are con artists. They have a persuasive pitch that ultimately gets you to take your credit card out and give them hundreds of dollars where you get no services,” she says.
“When you go back and look, what were the red flags you ignored?” Tucker asked Caulfield, the victim of alleged fraud.
“It was too good to be true,” he responded.
CBS 2 reached out to Student Loan Resolve to ask question about his case. Their attorney told CBS the company cannot comment about specific customers and that they aren’t aware of any instance where they have failed to comply with individual contracts or with the law. The company has not yet commented on the attorney general’s complaint.MORE NEWS: Bulls Win Home Opener Against The Pelicans