OKLAHOMA CITY - Just like that, Julia Ballard's paycheck was gone.
“It was right after work and they called me, asked me if I wanted a loan,” Julia said.
She says the man told her she was approved for a small loan, but because of her bad credit she'd have to pay a $478 fee first.
The suspected scam artist, likely calling from overseas, convinced Julia to put money on a prepaid debit card.
Elaine Dodd is head of the fraud unit for the Oklahoma Bankers Association.
“If someone asks you to put money on a reloadable card, if you call them and give them those numbers, they can pull that money off anywhere in the world,” Dodd said.
That makes the cash hard to trace and the bad guys even harder to catch.
Julia's money is long gone.
She's moved on, but is still shaken up.
We got the man on the phone and asked him whether or not he was licensed to do business in Oklahoma.
The alleged scammer said, “Sir, why should I give you my company's license number to you?”
The In Your Corner bottom line:
- It's illegal for a company to promise you a loan over the phone.
- It’s also illegal to ask you to pay a fee before the loan is pushed through.
- Deal with someone in person.
- Read the paperwork.
- Make sure the lender is licensed to do business in our state.