BBB Warning: Advance Fee Loan Scams Are on the Rise in Western Ontario

  
     
March 30, 2017

Another advanced fee loan scam is making the rounds. BBB Serving Western Ontario is issuing a warning about the influx of Advance Fee Loan Scams in the region. The latest to pop up is Stride Lending Group. BBB Serving Western Ontario and Crimestoppers Chatham-Kent has received multiple reports from across Canada that consumers have applied for loans online and after paying thousands of dollars for “insurance”, the promised loans were allegedly not received.

“These type of businesses target vulnerable individuals who are experiencing difficulty in obtaining cash or credit. 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."

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).

Check out bbb.org to look up a business, file a complaint, write a customer review, report a scam, read tips, follow us on social media, and more!

 

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