News Across America: Scammers offering no credit check loans and teachers feel burnout from pandemic

Morning In America

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — Morning in America highlights communities from all across the country. Here are the top headlines you should know for Tuesday, October 12.

Raleigh, North Carolina

The pandemic has put some people into a tight financial situation that’s led to scammers offering people guaranteed no credit check loans. However, people who fall victim to the scheme don’t get a loan and end up paying the scammers.

It starts with a text or email telling you you’re eligible for a loan, and it’s just in time because the bills are piling up.

“A lot of these scammers are using the names of legitimate business,” said Alyssa Parker of the Better Business Bureau of Eastern N.C. “It seems like it’s on the up and up, but it’s not.”

Normally, when you apply for a loan, there are credit checks, but these scammers don’t do that. That’s the hook used to help snag you. The criminals say they’ll send the loan money right to your bank account and you can access it right away, but no money ever gets there.

Those scammers are after your cash and explain it as a so-called “fee,” or “insurance money for the loan.”

However, the “loan” check they deposit into your bank account bounces and you’re out the money you paid for the so-called insurance.

Other ways to tell it’s a loan scam include:

  • You’re pressured to act immediately
  • They promise you guaranteed approval
  • The website they use isn’t secure. (It has no “lock” icon.

Parker said one way to verify the legitimacy of the person talking to you is to reach out to the company you think you are doing business with and ask if the person really works there.

Whatever you do, she says, don’t rely on a simple Google search — especially if it’s an unfamiliar company. Fake websites and ads directing you to them can be easily placed in the search results.

Also, Parker said to check the origin of the email or text. Check the website itself — does it have a .com address?

Look for complaints about the company on official government websites and your state attorney general’s office as well as with the BBB.

Be wary of unsolicited loan offers. If you get one of them, take a step back and do your research first before moving forward.

Spartanburg, South Carolina

The South Carolina Teacher Education Advancement Consortium through Higher Education Research (SC-TEACHER) surveyed some of the South Carolina educators who left their jobs this summer.

They said about 48% of the teachers they surveyed left their job to teach at another school district.

Tommy Hodges, the director of SC-TEACHER and interim dean of the University of South Carolina’s College of Education, said the convenience of job location, relocation, decision to retire and dissatisfaction with school administrators were often cited as the single most important reason for a teacher leaving.

Hodges told the Education Oversight Committee they saw a pattern where COVID-19 exacerbated the frustrations of already discouraged teachers leading to extremely high emotional burnout.

He also said COVID-19 itself did not lead to a mass exodus of teachers.

“Teachers did not leave because of concerns over their own health but rather left over concerns of being effective because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Hodges said.

Sen. Greg Hembree, R-District 28, said making sure new teachers are better prepared for the classroom could help keep them there.

“I’m absolutely convinced the number one thing we can do in South Carolina to make real improvements, is build better leaders and teachers,” he said.

In addition to effectiveness, Hodges said teachers cited concerns over lack of support from their school board and broader community as a reason for leaving their job.

Those leaving the profession for good cited higher salaries, availability of full-time teaching positions and smaller class sizes as important factors in consideration of a return to teaching.

Before the start of the 2020-21 school year, the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention and Advancement (CERRA) reported nearly 6,000 teachers left their positions. An additional 677 educators left their job from October 2020 to February 2021.

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