Consumers Scammed by Easy-Credit Loan Officers
We have reviewed dozens of complaints in recent weeks from consumers who have been scammed by easy-credit loan offers. Ads promise that you can borrow regardless of your credit history, at a reasonable interest rate. ("Need a loan? Bad Credit? NO PROBLEM! Call 1-800-XXX-XXXX" or "FINANCIAL SERVICES AVAILABLE: Good or bad credit welcome. Specialize in business and personal loans. No fees, bankcruptcy accepted. 1-866-XXX-XXXX.") The consumer is immediately approved for a loan, then learns that before the loan can be funded, a "fee" or "deposit" must be paid. The required advance payment is the tip-off. The loan may never materialize and the deposit may be lost. |
Consumers are cautioned that a legitimate lending company is very unlikely to offer fast approval and low interest to a person with a troubled credit history. The demand for an advance fee is a warning. Consumers should also be wary if they are instructed to wire money or otherwise avoid using the US Mail. As always, consumers should be cautious about supplying their personal and financial information to any company or individual that they know very little about.
ABOUT CONSUMER ALERTS - The Office of the Attorney General accepts consumer complaints about businesses. When a pattern of complaints warrants intervention, the Attorney General can file a civil lawsuit under consumer protection statutes, sometimes with the result that a company is required to pay restitution to consumers -- see our Major Lawsuits page. However, when a consumer is swindled by a con artist, filing a complaint cannot help. Civil litigation can sometimes put a very unscrupulous business out of action, but often cannot produce restitution.
Individual con artists generally fall under the jurisdiction of a criminal prosecutor -- in Texas, this is the district or county attorney. But even when they are charged and convicted, these individuals usually have spent the money as fast as they have stolen it. A person who is the victim of fraud should report the incident to the police or sheriff. But by far the best thing is for consumers to be aware of fraud, so they are not swindled in the first place. For this reason, the Office of the Attorney General posts these Consumer Alerts about possible scams and schemes that come to our attention through citizen contacts to our office or other sources.