The BBB offers tips on how to avoid loan scams.
YOUNGSTOWN -- The Better Business Bureau of Mahoning Valley is warning people of a loan scam that offers a guaranteed $15,000 loan for a fee of about $2,000.
People are told to wire the fee to Canada and that the loan money would be deposited in their bank accounts within three to five days. Once people send their money, they do not receive anything from the company and can't get anyone to talk to them, the BBB says.
Area residents have sent money to the people behind the scam because of a local advertisement for Royal and Son Alliance. The ad listed a toll-free number and said the loan was guaranteed even if a person has credit problems.
The BBB says anyone who has been a victim of an advanced-fee loan scam should contact the agency.
Signs of a scheme
The BBB advises people to consider the following before responding to ads that promise easy credit:
U Legitimate lenders never guarantee a loan or credit card before you apply, especially if you have bad credit or no credit.
U If you apply for a real estate loan, lenders commonly request payment for a credit report or appraisal. Legitimate lenders, however, never ask for payment to process the application.
U Don't give your credit-card account number, bank account information or Social Security number over the telephone or Internet unless you are familiar with the company.
U If you don't have the offer confirmed in writing and are asked to pay, don't do it.