Taking Action: A warning about potential online loan scams

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DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – If you’ve ever tried to borrow money, this story will be of interest. Predators and thieves are patiently waiting for you to turn to the Internet to look for a loan. Financial disaster could be only one click away. WHNT News 19 is Taking Action to warn you.

Thugs and thieves hide behind the protective curtain of a web page.

“And I fell victim hook, line and sinker for it,” says a man we’ll call Christopher for the sake of this story. It’s not his real name. He asked that we not identify him. He simply went online looking for information about a loan, and filled out an application. Hours later, he got the call.

“And told me that I had been approved for this loan,” Christopher says. He says everything seemed perfectly legitimate at first, even the processing fees he would have to pay to close the deal. But then reality hit him like a lead pipe.

“I’m out $1,500 and that’s put a financial hardship on me than already was.”

The FBI says you can never be too careful.

“These criminals are very good at pretending to be somebody that they’re not,” according to the FBI’s Paul Daymond.

Before the thieves stole Christopher’s money, the FBI says they stole and were using the name of a reputable company to make everything appear to be legitimate.

“I’m gonna be thinking about this for a long time,” Christopher tells us, an expensive lesson learned the hard way.

Monday, September 28 on WHNT News 19 at 10:00 p.m. you’ll hear more about what happened to Christopher, and from the FBI about the recourse for victims. You’ll hear from the company whose identity was stolen so the thieves could take your money. Be sure to watch our Taking Action Investigation.

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