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21 Counties in Central Ohio
BBB Alert: New Advance Fee Loan Scam Emerges with Local Address
May 05, 2014

Columbus, OH - Better Business Bureau serving Central Ohio (BBB) is warning consumers of Parkworth Financial, an advanced fee loan company falsely using a local address in hopes to appear legitimate to online loan applicants. In the past two days, thieves have attempted to steal thousands of dollars from unsuspecting borrowers, many of them desperate for financial help.

Investigations conducted by BBB reveal the address listed on the company’s website, 6264 S. Sunbury Road, Westerville, OH is actually a building with legitimate business tenants, none of whom are Parkworth Financial.

One consumer who applied online for a loan lost $466.00. She stated after applying for loans online, she was contacted by email and phone by representatives of Parkworth Financial, indicating she had been approved for a loan. She just needed to pay an “insurance fee” to be paid with Greendot MoneyPak.

“The documents they sent for the loan details look very legit, and there are four options to secure the loan. This makes me sick that people would do this to someone who is in need,” the consumer said.

Consumers nationwide continue to be victimized by sophisticated loan scams that demand up-front fees for personal loans that are never delivered. Joan Coughlin, BBB Vice President states, "It's heartbreaking when you hear about people sending advanced fees for these types of loans. Often times, the money they are sending could be used to pay their rent or buy groceries for their families. In the end, they have no loan, are out their $499.00 and they are worse off than when they started."

Consumers should check out any loan offers with BBB.

Signs of an advanced fee loan scam:

  • You are guaranteed a loan, without providing financial information, even if you have no credit, bad credit or are going through or have been bankrupt.
  • You are guaranteed a loan even if local legitimate lending institutions have refused you.
  • Upfront fees are not disclosed.
  • You are asked to purchase a Greendot MoneyPak or wire money to the company to pay an upfront fee for insurance, administration or legal fees.
  • The company pressures you to send the money right away.
  • As a precaution, do not provide any personal or financial information to any unknown firm, over the Internet or telephone. Always check with the BBB before doing business with any firm.

Consumers who have been scammed by fraudulent offers involving Greendot MoneyPaks should contact their local law enforcement and file a police report, as well as file complaints with www.bbb.org, the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov and the FTC at www.ftc.gov.

ABOUT BBB: 
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2013, people turned to BBB more than 132 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 4.5 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. BBB serving Central Ohio, founded in 1921 and serving 21 counties in Ohio, is one of 112 local, independent BBBs across North America.