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Monday, November 24, 2014
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Better Business Bureau warns of new loan scam

Last Modified: Thursday, July 17, 2014 10:55 AM

By Lance Traweek / American Press

Diane Woods of Lake Charles was recently scammed out of nearly $80 after being pre-approved for a loan of up to $5,000, and the Better Business Bureau is urging others not to fall for the scam.

Woods said she was contacted by a foreign-accented person after clicking on an online payday loan ad.

The caller told her to buy a Greendot MoneyPak valued at $79 for processing. The caller informed her that a credit check was performed without her even telling the caller basic information such as Social Security number or date of birth. The caller then told her that more money would need to be sent to receive the loan.

“They told me to scratch the back of the card and read them the numbers. I said, ‘OK,’ thinking I was going to get the loan,” Woods said. “Everything was good until they said they needed an additional $149 for the credit check. I got really irate and called the Better Business Bureau. I told them they were going to get what is coming to them.”

She said they told her they would return her money in three months, but that she knew she had been taken advantage of. “I won’t fall for that again,” Woods said. “The whole situation was awful.”

Carmen Million, BBB president, said consumers nationwide are being victimized by scams that demand upfront fees for loans they will not receive.

“If you want to get a loan and have to put money up front, that is your first red flag,” Million said. “If you can’t get a loan locally, then you surely can’t get an out-of-state loan.”

Million said a legitimate company will not proceed with a loan without performing a credit check on the applicant.

She said consumers who have been scammed by false offers involving Greendot MoneyPaks should file a report with police and submit a complaint at www.bbb.org.

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Online: www.ic3.gov; www.ftc.gov.

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