This past week I handled a call from a consumer who was applying for loans online. The consumer received a call from one such lender who said that she needed to go to either Western Union or Wal-Mart and wire $350.00 to him. The caller insisted that he was on “the up-and-up,” and she went to one of the wire transfer companies as the caller instructed. She was told that people don’t usually receive anything. Since our consumer wasn’t sure, she called us here at the Better Business Bureau.
I had the opportunity to explain that that these offers, commonly known as advanced loan schemes, weren’t legal in most states. We talked about the other websites where she made application, and some of them stated that there were no fees, but in some of these cases, this turns into a phishing scheme to get personal information that could result in identity theft.
Generally speaking, a good practice is to seek a loan from a local lender. If you don’t qualify for an unsecured loan, see if the lending institution offers a secured loan program. A secured loan may entail providing some type of collateral or funds that cannot be accessed until the loan is paid off.
For more information you can trust, visit evansville.bbb.org.