Better Business Bureau – Scam Alert

The Better Business Bureau of South Central Louisiana is warning the public about a lending scam that is circulating throughout our area.

A local woman recently reached out to us saying that she got scammed out of her money. She was asked by a scammer pretending to be with a loan company, to give the alleged company an “inter-state transaction deposit.” The e-mail to the woman also stated that, “the said amount will be refunded to you along with the loan amount of $2000 which means you will get $2150 in total. Request you pay the rest $150 so that we can initiate your funds transfer of $2150 at the earliest.”

This is a scam. The woman sadly lost hundreds of dollars to this scammer. You always want to check with your Better Business Bureau or before you spend your money, to make sure the company is legitimate before.

According to the Federal Trade Commission’s Telemarketing Sales Rule, if someone guarantees or suggests that there is a strong chance they can get or arrange a loan or other form of credit for you, it is illegal to ask you to pay, or accept payment, for their service until you get your credit or loan.

The BBB has some tips to make sure this does not happen to you:

–      The first sign of caution is if you have to put out money up front, and if you have to use a cash card to pay any fees.

–      Another sign of caution is if they ask for your personal financial information without seeing a contract or some kind of documentation.

–      If the company states they are not interested in your credit history, those are warning signs.

–      Try to do your loan in-person rather than over the phone.

–      Just because a company advertises in a recognized media outlet does not mean the company is 100% legitimate.

–      Legitimate lenders never “guarantee” to get you a loan or credit card before you apply, especially if you have bad credit, no credit, or have declared bankruptcy in the past.

–      Legitimate lenders never ask you to pay for processing your application. One exception is real estate; it is accepted and normal practice for lenders to request payment for a credit report or appraisal.