Have you had difficulty obtaining a loan through normal sources?
If so, you may become the target of an advance fee loan scheme. In
such a scheme, a con artist offers you a "guaranteed" loan for a
fee paid in advance.
The advance fee swindler claims to be able to obtain a loan for
you with ease from a legitimate lending institution, such as a
bank or a savings and loan association. However, the swindler has
no ability to secure a loan for you. Instead, he either steals
your fee and disappears or remains in the area to bilk other
unsuspecting victims while stalling you with various excuses as to
why your loan has not been funded.
Advance fee swindlers frequently ask for a percentage of the gross
loan amount as their fee. For example, if a five percent fee is
requested, you would have to pay $500 to obtain a loan of $10,000.
There is much to lose if you lower your guard. If you are not
dealing directly with a lending institution on your own behalf,
the following guidelines will help you avoid being victimized by
an advance fee swindler.
* Know who you are doing business with. Obtain the name of the
loan representative and the name, address, and telephone number of
* Don't accept the promoter's claims of guaranteed loan
services at face value.
* Insist on being told the name of the lending institution
which supposedly will fund your loan.
* Verify with the supposed lender all oral and written
representations made by the promoter regarding support from that
* Ask for names, addresses, and phone numbers of other
customers of the promoter, and contact them to see if they got
* Consider consulting an attorney or accountant for advice.
Remember: Ask yourself why the promoter can obtain a loan for you
from a legitimate lender when you yourself have been turned down
for a loan, perhaps many times. Take care of your precious assets
by exercising caution when asked to pay a loan fee in advance.
If you have been victimized in an advance fee scheme in which the
U.S. Mail was used, report your experience to your local
postmaster or the nearest Postal Inspector.
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