12 Christmas scams, day 3: emergency loans

TULSA, Okla. — As the holiday season approaches, some hope that life will improve.

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

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

The 2News Oklahoma Problem Solvers say scammers prey on desperate and vulnerable people.

They set up sites advertising fast and instant loans, then invent the reasons why the applicant must first send money.

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

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

She fell behind on her bills. His credit score 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 address and phone number and they called me.”

A guy named Mike said she was approved but had to send some insurance money 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 bills. Because I’m about to have surgery. I’m a single mom of two.”

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

“He asked me for a third payment again and that’s when I thought no, not only did I already send 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 penny.”

Cyberscam experts say it is illegal for any business to promise a loan and demand payment before delivering.

But that’s what scammers do, often in the name of COVID relief.

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

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

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

Jessica slowly got back on her feet. And she repays her debt. But she wants to warn anyone else in a similar situation.

“I know how desperate I felt at the time and this man, he seemed so nice and genuine, but I mean these scam artists it’s their life, it’s 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, but they also steal personal information that legitimate lenders might ask you for, such as your bank account information or 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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