BBB Warns Consumers of Dangers of Advance Fee Loan Scams

  
     
August 07, 2014

[August 7, 2014 – London, ON] As a leader in advancing marketplace Trust, Better Business Bureau Serving Western Ontario (BBB) is issuing a warning about Herington Capital Investors. “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 Deborah Brady, President 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 Herington Capital Investors has determined that it is an Advanced Fee Loan Scheme. Information from consumers has determined that this company is offering loans for an advance fee. Consumers allege that they have responded to advertisements on the internet for loans. After paying several hundreds of dollars, consumers allege that they never received the loan promised by the company.

These schemes target individuals who are having trouble obtaining cash or credit. Customers are lured by advertisements promising "guaranteed" loans - regardless of credit history - for advance fees running between $50 and several hundred 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.

To check the reliability of a company and find trustworthy businesses, visit bbb.org.

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BBB is a non-profit, non-governmental organization.  It is supported by businesses to protect consumers against scams and other unethical business practices. The group accomplishes this by educating both consumers and businesses, and by highlighting trustworthy businesses. By developing reports and ratings on businesses and charitable organizations, BBB encourages people to use these as resources and referrals to utilize the free services before making a purchase or donation. BBB helps resolve buyer/seller complaints through its alternative dispute resolution process.