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Consumer Alert: Home refinancing scam

Do you need to refinance a home or business? Here's something you should know. There are conmen out there who will try to steal your money.

Here is how you can figure out who is legitimate and who is not.

An anonymous fraud victim says, "I started getting the funny feeling that something just wasn't right."

Her instinct was right. This small business owner and her husband needed to refinance their business but their bank turned them down.

"Our mortgage company gave us his information and he said he was basically capable of getting anything done that none of the other lenders would be able to do."

The 'he' is she referring to is Charles Grove who operated a company called CG Financial.

Michael Egner, a Postal Inspector, says, "He would ask them for an upfront advance fee. They come up with this money and in some cases they have to borrow the money for the advance fee from friends, relatives or whatever because they are deathly afraid of losing their business."

Hope quickly turned to disappointment.

The victim says, "Whenever we were supposed to meet or discuss the details, something would come up. His mom would be in the hospital or he had to travel for another client."

The Postal Inspector says, "These people are skilled at putting people off. That is part of the game."

Grove is accused of duping 32 victims out of more than $350,000. Victims say they were crushed.

The victim says, "For the safety of my children and our credit history and worrying that our credit was compromised for the future, anything. Not know basically the unknown of figuring out how far he went with our information."

The Postal Inspector says, "It is an unscrupulous thing to do, that people who target people who are already in trouble and take them for the last money that they have, that is about the most heartless thing you can do."

Postal Inspectors say consumers trying to refinance should ask for references and you should ask many questions.

"Did you get your loan, were you able to get it back, what was the finance, what was the interest and was this the kind of guy who used his own money?"

Victims say, "Finding out that it was a scam the whole time that was the most hurtful. So many people try to promise you things but you can't trust them."

Charles Grove faces up to 25 years in prison.


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