Internet Dating and Romance Scams

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Payday Loan scam targets New Braunfels couple

San Antonio — You’ve heard about the “Nigerian Lottery” scam or the “Stranded friend in China that needs help getting back” scam.

Now, the News 4 WOAI Trouble Shooters are uncovering a new scam that has affected people across the country. It’s a scam that preys on people’s fears of going to jail or losing their job.

When Eric Hunt and Vanessa Handsome first reached out to us, we thought they were just dealing with an aggressive debt collector. But they might be dealing with something worse, a possible team of scammers that don’t follow the rules.

“When I tell him to stop calling, that’s when he gets mad,” Vanessa Handsome explained. “He starts cussing at me and saying sexual stuff to me.”

For months Eric Hunt and Vanessa Handsome have been receiving about a payday loan they took out and never paid back. The man on the other end of the line is aggressive, persistent and sometimes down-right nasty.

The couple was so fed up they called New Braunfels Police and the FBI. And they even started to record their conversations with the alleged bill collector for their own protection.

“I work every day. I get paid every week. Why should I have to take out a payday loan? I mean, I never took out a loan here in Texas,” Eric Hunt told us.

Initially, Eric wanted to pay the man just to get him to stop calling. But Vanessa wasn’t convinced.

“I really do think it’s a scam. I have that gut feeling because he can’t even tell us what company he’s from,” Vanessa said.

Turns out, her instincts were right. A quick Google search turned up dozens of sites where people are blogging about this phony payday loan collector. The FBI posted a warning on its Internet Crime Complaint Center and the Attorney General out of Arizona sent out a release detailing how this scam works and who it targets.

“Watch your money,” Eric warned. “Save all your receipts. Save all your bills. And just hope and pray things like this don’t happen. Because it is not fun. It’s stressful.”
So to keep from being a victim, you need to make sure not to give out your bank account information or credit card numbers. Always ask for the details of the possible loan in writing. And don’t forget to report these guys to your local police or even the FBI if you think you’re being scammed.
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January 24, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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