(BBB)–Better Business Bureau® is warning the public to beware of online loans that require large upfront fees, after a Versailles woman lost over $1200 to a bogus loan company with a fake Florida address.
The victim and her boyfriend turned to the Internet to search for a loan because they have low credit scores and could not get one locally. The woman found a website offering loans for people with bad credit. She entered her information and began hearing from several lenders. A company called Money Loans Quick with a Miami, Florida address, contacted her and approved the couple for a $3,000 loan.
The trouble began when they asked the woman for various fees in advance for “bad credit insurance,” “processing fees,” etc. The company required the money to be paid via Google Play cards. They asked for even more money; then she suspected a scam.
“This lady was never going to see a dime of that loan,” said Heather Clary, BBB Director of Communications. “She had sent nearly half of the original loan amount to the company before catching on that she was being scammed.” The BBB serving Southeast Florida has a report on Money Loans Quick, which has an “F” rating due to two unanswered complaints. That BBB says mail to the business was returned. The address is that of a virtual office building, and the company is not located there.
- BBB reminds consumers that requiring a fee before granting a loan is ILLEGAL. Other tips to avoid advance fee loan scams:
- DON’T assume because a lender is on the Internet that it’s legitimate. Check it out with the BBB at www.bbb.org or call 1-800-866-6668. Also check with state banking authorities to determine if it’s a legal operation.
- IF you cannot get a loan locally, ask yourself why a lender in another location would grant you one, especially if the interest rate is low. If they say that is why they require upfront fees, it’s a scam.
- If payment for anything is required using a reloadable cash card such as iTunes, GooglePlay, Amazon, etc., beware. Scammers like that method because they can clean out the value quickly and you will not be able to recover the money.
Consumers may report scams to BBB Scam Tracker at www.bbb.org/scamtracker.