Another advanced fee loan scam is making the rounds. BBB Serving Western Ontario is issuing a warning about Acton Lending Group. “These businesses promise consumers, even those that are unqualified, that there is a high probability that their loan will be approved. Especially for consumers with bad credit or no credit history, this can be a very tempting offer," says Ashley Casselman, Communications Manager of BBB serving Western Ontario. "The scammers then take off with the processing fee for a loan that will never materialize."
BBB's investigation into Acton Lending Group has determined that it is an Advanced Fee Loan Scheme. It has been determined from information provided by consumers, that this company is an offering loans for an advanced fee. Consumers allege that they have responded to advertisements on the internet for loans, and after sending several thousands of dollars, consumers allege that they never received the loan promised by the company. BBB has confirmed by contacting the building manager that the business is not at the listed address.
“Advanced fee loan schemes target individuals who are vulnerable to these types of scams. The consumers usually are already having trouble obtaining cash or credit” says Casselman. Customers are lured by advertisements promising "guaranteed" loans - regardless of credit history - for advance fees several thousand dollars. However, you must pay the advance fee before obtaining the "loan".
In Ontario, it is illegal for a company to request an upfront fee prior to obtaining a loan.
If you have been scammed, the BBB advises you to contact local law enforcement and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.
BBB offers the following advice when looking for a personal loan:
Be careful where you put your information. Beware of applying for online loans through unfamiliar businesses or websites. Many of these online application sites are run by scammers or by people who sell your information to scammers.
Don’t pay advance fees. Understand that any business operating by phone and charging insurance or other fees in advance of making a loan is operating illegally.
Verify the address. Do not do business with anyone who cannot give you an address that you can confirm as legitimate.
Read the contract. Read any contract carefully and make sure you understand all requirements before entering into any agreement.
Don’t get tricked by “official-looking.” Official-looking loan documents and sophisticated looking websites are easy to copy or fake. Just because a business appears legitimate, doesn’t mean it is.
Do your research. Find an Accredited Business using bbb.org, and check out the company’s BBB Business Review before purchasing anything from a website.
For more information:
Report scams to BBB Scam Tracker (bbb.org/scamtracker).
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