Columbus, OH (PRWEB) October 11, 2012
Hundreds of consumers across the nation say they have been victimized by an online payday loan scheme involving at least seven questionable businesses, all claiming the same Las Vegas address, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns.
In every case, the complainants told the BBB that the businesses used electronic checks to take $30 from their accounts. Some consumers said the companies told them the charges were payday loan application fees, even though the consumers maintain they never formally applied for loans. Other consumers said they have no idea where the businesses got their banking information or how they were able to access their accounts.
More than 300 people, including a few Central Ohio consumers, have filed complaints against the businesses, most of them in the past several months.
The businesses identified by the BBB are Capital Advance Capitol (also known as Loan Assistance), Ideal Advance, LoanTree Advances, Pacific Advances, Palm Loan Advances, Vantage Funding, and Your Loan Funding. All list addresses at 2780 S. Jones Blvd., Suite 3675, in Las Vegas, NV, and most have virtually identical websites. All have “F” ratings with the BBB for failing to respond to complaints.
Kip Morse, BBB President and CEO, said consumers should always be mindful of giving out their personal information. “The lure of quick cash causes people to drop their guard and become victims of these scam artists,” said Morse. “It is reprehensible for these types of companies to prey on people who are already experiencing financial difficulties.”
Several of the complainants said they have been promised refunds repeatedly, but never received them. Several also said they were promised $1,000 gasoline vouchers in lieu of a refund, but never received those either.
The BBB has found six nearly identical websites for the companies, with only the businesses’ names changed. “Get up to $1,000 in as fast as 1 hour!” claim the sites. “4 out of every five applicants is approved on the spot! Get approved for a loan regardless of your credit score or credit history!” All of the sites have identical testimonials, again with only the company’s names changed.
The BBB offers the following tips to avoid losing money in an online payday loan scheme:
● Be extremely cautious about providing banking or other personal information to strangers.
● Read and understand all “terms and conditions” printed on a website.
● Check for BBB Business Reviews by going to http://www.bbb.org or by calling 614-486-6336.