Scammers Hijacking Legitimate Company Names To Defraud
Loan Scam Warning: We never require up front fees for any of our services. Never send anyone money in advance of a loan. Beware of anyone asking you to do so.
Loan Scams Rampant
It seems as though the lengths scammers will go to in order to steal your hard earned money never ends. While we knew that scammers were using other company’s names – companies with good names and reputations – in their attempts to defraud consumers, it has recently come to our attention that our name, too, has been hijacked. Please, remember that nobody legitimately associated with us will ever promise a large loan in return for advance fees. Up-front fees are not a part of what we do here at Lenders Mark.
The basic scam is fairly simple. With lines that are slick and smooth, the scammer convinces his target – typically someone with bad or damaged credit in real need of a loan, or someone who is financially inexperienced – that he can arrange for an unsecured loan to be made in the desired amount. However, in order for the loan to go through, the scammer informs his intended victim, fees and sometimes the first payment of the monthly repayment schedule must be submitted in advance. Some of the fees cited usually are application fees, loan processing fees, and loan insurance fees.
Typically, the scammer requests payment outside of the traditional financial institutions and methods, asking that the money be sent via wire transfer, such as Western Union or Moneygram. In some versions of the basic scam, the victim will be directed to send the money out of the country, supposedly to a financial institution willing to make the specific type of loan.
In many instances, the scam takes on added dimensions of rip-off, as in order to ‘apply’ for the fraudulent loan, the victim supplies the scammer with enough personal and financial information that he or she is left wide open for identity theft. Sometimes the scammer doesn’t actually commit the identity theft, but rather sells the information to those that specialize in such crime. This can lead to years worth of credit difficulties for the victim, especially as it may take a significant period of time before the identity theft is discovered.
An important element of the scammer’s ability to defraud is the victim’s vulnerability, either in wanting very much to believe the scammer as the loan is desperately needed or due to inexperience in the realm of borrowing. The use of a legitimate and trusted company name increases the scammer’s ability to convince his intended victim to fall for the scam. Many victims feel very embarrassed once they learn the truth – some, after being angry at the company they thought defrauded them -- and because of that embarrassment, they fail to report that they have been defrauded.
The fact of the matter is they are not alone, and they should feel no shame in reporting. Indeed, reporting such crime is a public service and is a big part of helping to bring these scammers to justice and prevent them from continuing to steal from others. Picking up the phone or spending a few minutes at the keyboard to report the crime can prevent a widowed grandmother from losing the little bit of financial security she has.
Don’t be a victim. Watch for the advance fee rip off red flags and don’t enter the lending marketplace without doing a little research and learning about what standard terms and conditions are. If you have damaged or bad credit, remember that there are legitimate and reasonable loan opportunities out there. Take your time and seek them out. If you have been victimized, please take the time to report. You can play an important role in preventing scammers from having their way with countless others.
- Advance-Fee Loan Scams: ‘Easy’ Cash Offers Teach Hard Lessons
- FDIC: SA-58-2008: Advance Fee Loan Scams