Online scams seem to be very prevalent. Our office receives constant phone calls from consumers wanting us to help them after they have fallen prey to a scammer who pretended to work for America’s Loan Company. However, once a consumer allows a scam artist access to their money, there is little to be done except report the incident to the authorities. Unfortunately, there is seems to be very little, if anything at all, that the authorities can do to help consumers get their cash back. The best rule of thumb is buyer beware. Do some research on the company which is promising to lend you funds.
Red Flags That Tell You’re Dealing With Scammer
According to Bankrate.com, here are some of the red flags that tell you may be dealing with a fraudulent entity. Legitimate lenders will not offer guarantee of loan approval. The reason is that a good lender will run a credit report through one of the major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax, Experian) before they can decide whether you are a good risk to lend to. A lender gets paid when a loan is paid. So obviously they will not give you a loan if there is not a reasonable credit payment history. Scammers will not care about your credit history.
If the lender is not registered in your state to do loans, then you probably should stay away form it. It should make you wonder as to the reason that they are not registered. A reason may be that the lender does not want to abide by your state’s laws. A lender registered with your state will have to abide by the accepted laws within the state, which is safer for you.
Another big red flag is if a lender requires payment before loan disbursement as a condition to being approved for a loan. This can take the form of given them gift cards, prepaid cards, and even your banking information. A legitimate lender will charge fees associated with a loan, but, these will be included or deducted from the loan at the time of contract signing.
Lack of a physical office that you can visit is another sign that you are dealing with a scammer. No physical address means that the lender can’t be found, even if you report a bad incident to the authorities. If the lender provides an address, use online map options to verify that the address given is a business address.
Tips On Researching A Legitimate Lender
There are online tools to help avoid fraudulent businesses. According to a CNBC article we can search a business in the Better Business Bureau website. A business must pay to be registered with the BBB and be responsive to consumer concerns. This make the businesses registered with the BBB more trustworthy. Another option is to contact your state’s department of financial institutions, click here for Ohio’s. That is where files of registered lenders are kept. You may then search for a lender to verify their legitimacy. Also pay attention to online reviews in the likes of Google, Trustpilot, etc..
Always remember to do your homework before giving a lender your personal information or any kind of payment. Don’t let a sense of urgency cause you to fall for a scam. Remember that once you fall for a scam, chances are you won’t see that lost money again.