Personal Loan Scams: How to Spot Them and Avoid Getting Scammed
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What Are Personal Loan Scams?
Who Is Most at Risk for a Personal Loan Scam?
Common Types of Personal Loan Scams
Tips to Identify a Potential Personal Loan Scam
1. Lender Contacts You
2. Pressured Into a Loan
3. Guarantees Loan Approval
4. No Fees Disclosed
5. Upfront Fees
6. Prepaid Card Payment Option
7. Lender Isn’t Registered with the State
8. No Credit Check
Identity Credit score Debt-to-income ratio Income Employment
9. No Website
10. No Physical Address
What to Do if You Have Been Scammed
Place a fraud alert with the credit bureaus. This informs creditors that you may be a victim of fraud and that they should contact you to verify your identity before issuing any new credit. If you place an alert with one bureau (TransUnion, Equifax, or Experian), it will be placed on all three. Contact your bank as soon as possible. If you paid any fake loan processing fees, contact your bank. It may be able to retrieve your money if you report the incident fast enough. Gather as much documentation and correspondence as you can. Save all emails, paperwork, and any kind of screenshot that could be helpful and give copies to authorities. File an official police report with your local enforcement. It’s important to have an official record in case you are ever successful in getting the fraudster to court. File a complaint with government agencies and crime reporting centers to protect others like you. Give the following centers as much information as you can to help prevent the scammer from hurting anyone else: If the scammer has a website, report it to major search engines. Companies like Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and DuckDuckGo may remove the website from search results after investigating a scam complaint.
Searching for a Safe Personal Loan
Look for contact information. Make sure that the lender's phone number, email address and physical address are available on their website, even if it’s an online-only lender. Read reviews. Check Google and Yelp for comments and reviews from previous customers. Check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). This way you can find out if there have been any complaints against the lender. The BBB can also be a good source for customer reviews. Make sure the lender is registered. If the lender is legitimate, it will be registered with the state. Contact your state’s attorney general to make sure.
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