12 Christmas scams, day 3: emergency loans

TULSA, Okla. – As the holiday season approaches, some are hoping that life will improve.

After all, the past two years have created challenges for many people.

But when they sought help in the form of a loan, they returned the money they had and received nothing in return.

2News Oklahoma Problem Solvers claim that con artists prey on desperate and vulnerable people.

They set up advertising sites for quick and instant loans and then come up with reasons why applicant has to send money first.

Take Jessica Murphy, for example, the last few months have been difficult for many reasons.

“I had cervical cancer and had to have an operation and for months I didn’t make any money.”

She is behind on her bills. Her credit score has plummeted.

So she took the advice of her friends and looked for a loan company.

Jessica says she “filled out an online form with basic information like my name, email, and phone number and they called me.”

A guy named Mike said she was approved but had to send money for insurance first.

“And I tried to explain to this man like I don’t have any money, all the money I have is what I’m sending you so I can get a bigger loan to pay my money. bills. Because I’m about to have surgery. I’m a single mother of two. “

Mike assured her that as soon as he had the money, she would receive a loan of $ 3,000.

“He asked me for a third payment again and that’s when I said to myself absolutely not, I told myself that not only had I already sent you all the money I had in my name but I know it’s a scam. “

In all, Jessica lost $ 700. She couldn’t get anything back.

“No, not a dime.”

Cyber ​​scam experts say it’s illegal for any business to pledge a loan and demand payment before delivering.

But that’s what the crooks are doing, many times in the name of COVID relief.

“When someone needs an emergency loan, they are in dire straits.”

And TU cybersecurity expert Tyler Moore says this makes them prime targets for crooks who shamefully plot to lure the people who need the money most, and often don’t have the time. to think.

“This is exactly the kind of brand a cybercriminal is looking for, someone who makes quick decisions and is desperate.”

Jessica slowly recovered. And she is paying off her debt. But she wants to warn anyone who is in a similar situation.

“I know how hopeless I felt back then and this man, he looked so nice and genuine, but I mean these crooks, this is their life, this is what they do, they present themselves as real nice people who are real companies and they just aren’t. “

And not only do they take your money, they also steal personal information that legitimate lenders might ask for, such as bank account information or your Social Security number.

Before choosing a lender, make sure they are registered in the state, have a good reputation, and fully understand their website.

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