Never. No matter what kind of scam it is, this is the first rule to follow: Do not send money. Period. There is never a reason – with rare exceptions that a target would know about anyway – to advance a payment to anyone, whether on your credit card or by wire transfer or by any “authorized” deduction.
It’s easy to think this happens to someone else, until it happens to you. At MoneyLend.net, we were recently made aware of customers who visited the online platform and then received follow-up calls from someone claiming to represent the firm, approving the loan and then requiring up-front transfer.
Here’s a typical scenario: A person goes online looking for a loan. They land on another loan site (not MoneyLend) and fill out an application form. The phone rings. That caller redirects the applicant to Moneylend.net, asks a few more questions, and requests an immediate advance payment to confirm the ability to pay the loan.
This is fraud. The staff at MoneyLend.net is just as angry about that fraud as our affected customers are, and we’re working hard to protect your finances and our good name. First of all, MoneyLend.net is a platform for lenders and not a lender itself. MoneyLend makes no loans of any kind. If someone calls a loan applicant and says they’re from MoneyLend to discuss your loan application, the caller is operating a scam. DO NOT give the caller any additional information, and do not send any money – ever – by any means requested.
For some people seeking online loans, that call is a red warning flag. They’re right to refuse the request and report that call to MoneyLend – or any other legitimate business whose name is being used – and to the proper authorities. We urge affected consumers to contact agencies like the Better Business Bureau, the Federal Bureau of Investigation Internet Fraud page and other appropriate regulatory or law enforcement agencies. But please be aware that MoneyLend also is a victim of this scam, and not engaged in fraudulent practices.
Sadly, we’ve heard from a number of consumers who have been targeted by the scammers, and want you to know that MoneyLend stands ready to assist them with accurate information about how they’ve been victimized. We welcome you to follow MoneyLend on Facebook and the website for additional security updates.
We also want to remind you that this is one instance of a classic advance-payment scam, but similar fraud is perpetrated by unscrupulous criminals all over the world in many different contexts. Victims are often vulnerable members of our communities – seniors, people in desperate financial straits, lonely or frightened individuals – precisely because they’re targeted in the most cynical way for their weakness.
As part of its mission, MoneyLend takes seriously its commitment to educating the community on personal finance topics and related money matters, and we believe knowing how to identify fraud and avoid scam artists is an important issue. The FBI offers a comprehensive list of scams, the different ways they are pushed, and smart tips on how to recognize them and avoid being a victim. A link to the FBI is provided here. There’s also additional information from the Federal Trade Commission at this site.
In addition to information about loan and credit scams, the FTC keeps consumers informed about all kinds of ways that scams can occur: home repairs, dating, identity theft, job searches – even scammers who take your money first, when they promise to help victims recover money from a different scammer!
Other good sources to help you avoid falling for scams include Consumer Reports and Fraud.org. We encourage you to browse the topics, arm yourself with knowledge and never, ever, above all, send money to someone you don’t know with the promise that you’ll get a loan or other benefit in return.