BBB Issues Alert Warning of Surge
In Bogus Loan Web Sites
“Lenders” Boldly Promise Loans, No Matter What Your Credit History
For Immediate Release
[Toronto, Ontario, January 25, 2007] – The Better Business Bureau system warns of a proliferation of
Web sites that are impersonating legitimate lenders to steal money from consumers.
Victims across Canada and the U.S. report losing money, sometimes more than $1,000 each. The
Web sites in question promise loans to anyone, regardless of the person’s previous credit history.
“People with the poorest finances are being victimized. Many mistakenly believe they have no other
option,” said Doug Simpson, President and CEO of the Canadian Council of Better Business
According to BBB experience, victims used Internet search engines to locate lenders that
“guaranteed” low-interest rate loans for people with bad credit histories. After submitting the online
loan application, they were contacted by a company “representative” who said they were approved.
Before they can receive their loan funds, however, they must first pre-pay a fee. The loan applicant is
told to wire the money or send a money order, often to a location outside of the country. The
consumer never receives the loan and cannot recover their money. They also risk having their
identity stolen if they provided their Social Insurance Number or bank account number.
“These bogus lenders are clever. They use a variety of tools to imply legitimacy, including the use of
names and addresses that are very similar to legitimate companies” Simpson warned.
Advance fee loan scams are illegal in Canada and the U.S.! To avoid law detection, fraudulent loan
operators move quickly, frequently reopening under new names.
“If you have trouble qualifying for a loan, you do have options. There are nonprofit organizations in
every province with trained credit counselors who can assist individuals with debt problems. Contact
your local BBB (www.ccbbb.org) for tips on sele