The Undoing of an Online Student-Loan ‘Expert’

He seemed so knowledgeable. Drew Cloud, as he was known, had amassed a large following on his website, which gave advice to those seeking information about student loan financing. Not only that, but he had been quoted as an expert in many reputable newspapers and online sources. Drew Cloud’s thoughts were crisp, salient, and always right on target.

There was only one problem. Drew Cloud doesn’t exist. That’s right—one of the most famous “experts” in student loan financing was just a hoax.

Despite the prolific number of article “Drew” had “written” and the attractive photo on his bio page, it turns out that Drew Cloud was totally fictitious. He was a conglomerate you might say, a combination of the writings of many different people who worked for the same company. The photo of Drew Cloud on his bio page was actually the photo of a guy that one of the people in this company had gone to college with.

In the end, the company had to issue a statement confirming Drew Cloud’s real identity—or lack thereof. The company apologized for misleading its readers, and numerous news outlets issued similar retractions or corrections to their articles that had quoted “Drew.”

All of this goes to show that if someone seems too good to be true, he probably is.