A Valley woman cautioned consumers about the online loan market.
We agreed to change her name to Mary because she says the wrong people have enough personal information to start a new life under her real name.
She had applied for loans online to consolidate and pay some bills. So she wasn’t surprised when she received an email telling her she was pre-approved.
He claimed to be from Prosper Loans. Mary says she researched the business and found it to be legitimate. According to their website, the real business connects you with investors willing to lend you money. The entire transaction is done online.
It was enough to convince Mary to continue. First they needed his bank account number. She says they say it was two, “make sure I’m a real person, that he belongs to the bank.”
Mary says they asked her to do additional checks on her Social Security number, driver’s license number and other personal information. Finally, they made him buy $ 2,500 in gift cards from Target.
Buying gift cards is a hallmark of this type of scam.
After you give them the numbers on the back, they take the money and run away.
This is exactly what happened to Marie.
She soon realized that the person who contacted her was not actually affiliated with Proper Loans. But they weren’t done with his bank account.
She says the scammer used her bank account number and “canceled seven different transactions.” Including two months rent, four insurance payments, and a big phone bill. Once back in the account, the crooks took an additional $ 2,500.
“They put me behind a lot. To the point where I was going to be kicked out of my place,” she said.
Mary’s owner was understanding and gave her time to pay, but what she really needed was a little money.
With even more money, Mary didn’t know what to do, so she let me know.
ABC15 / BBB volunteer Jim stepped in to help.
He contacted Chase Bank to explain how Mary was victimized twice. Within days, Mary says the bank investigated to authorize the cancellations and quickly returned $ 2,500 that she thought was lost forever.
“I felt like I had an angel by my side,” she says and hopes to prevent this from happening to someone else.
“Never respond to an email about a loan,” she warns.
Thanks to Chase Bank for responding and returning this money to Mary.