MEMPHIS, Tenn. — An Arkansas man is sounding the alarm after he says he was defrauded out of hundreds of dollars in a loan scam. The Better Business Bureau calls it an advance fee loan scam.
These scams are on the rise, and Millis Price doesn’t want anyone else to be a victim.
“Well, you learn from your mistakes,” Price said. “I won’t ever let that happen to me again.”
Price said he lost $700 in an advance fee loan scam.
“It put me back on all of my bills,” Price said. “Everything that was due is going to be past due now.”
Price went online looking for a loan. He wanted to make improvements to his home. So, he applied for several loans.
But then, he got an unsolicited call from a company. In order to get the money, they told him he needed to buy hundreds of dollars in Ebay gift cards.
Price followed directions. He was then sent an agreement.
“I signed that and sent it back to him. He said he needed $200 more to release the money to my funds, ‘I told him well sir I don’t have that much money, I’ve already given you $200. I said ‘you told me the money would be in my bank account 15 minutes after I done that,” Price said.
Needing the money, he sent more gift card information.
“I was already so far in there was no backing out,” Price said.
He realized it was a scam when the so-called lenders told him they weren’t sending him any of his money back. Price said the men he’s dealt with, who he thinks are in California, continue calling.
So, we asked them ourselves what was happening.
But the man on the line said he would only speak with Price.
“We want to get the word out that you guys are scamming people,” our reporter told them.
Daniel Irwin with the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South said people with bad credit or no credit at all are usually targeted in these cases.
“Legitimate lenders will never promise you a loan without knowing your credit history and they’ll never demand payment up front,” Irwin said.
Now, they’re becoming even more prevalent. Over the last 3 months received he’s received 28 reports of similar scams with total losses of more than $45,000.
That’s compared to 35 to 40 reports for all of 2021.
“I hope somebody sees this and it saves one person from being scammed out of all their money,” Price said.
Price said he plans to file a police report.
The BBB of the Mid-South said anytime you’re contacted unsolicited from someone saying they’re with a loan company it should be a red flag, and you should never pre-pay for a loan.