The target seems to be people who may not have a great credit score. It starts with a promise to loan money IF you pay a substantial amount up front.
Advance fee loan scams have been around for years, but they're becoming more prevalent in these tough economic times.
Heather Clary of the Better Business Bureau tells 27 NEWSFIRST, "A lot of people are getting involved in these scams, just by trolling around the internet, looking for a source of money they can borrow. These companies can look very legitimate. They send you paper work that looks to be in order. Then they tell you that because your credit isn't very good, you need to pay a fee for collateral or insurance, and this can be anywhere from several hundred to two or three thousand dollars."
Several people have inquired about a business that lists a Lexington address.
Clary says, "Lexington Financial Solutions gave an address on Jaggie Fox Way, but when the BBB checked out the address, it was just a building under construction with no business being conducted there. Meantime, the scammers were traced to Canada because authorities here have no jurisdiction north of the border. There is little if anything anyone can do to help the consumer who has lost money to these scams."
But these fake internet companies are definitely breaking the law.
According to Clary, "What people need to understand is it's illegal to ask you to pay a large upfront fee in order to get a loan. That's your first red flag. If they're asking you to do that, put on the brakes and check it out further."
Calling the Better Business Bureau at that point could save you a headache and a lot of money.