DENVER (CBS4) – A new scam circulating on the Internet is targeting people applying for loans.
With so many Coloradans going through the loan process, 4 On Your Side Consumer Investigator Jodi Brooks thought the scam was especially important to investigate.
Brooks found that the scam is like all the others. They don’t care who the person is, they just want their money. Brooks talked with one victim who wanted to tell his story to protect others from being scammed.
Adam Carerra is from Queens, N.Y. He moved to Colorado for a job in construction, and at 24, he’s got some debt.
“I was trying to get money real bad because there were things I needed to pay off, and I also needed to go to New York to see my family,” Carerra said.
So he filled out dozens and dozens of loan applications online. He figured, why not try?
“I gave them my information, they would check around, they would see if they would give me the loan or not,” Carerra said. “If not, they would send me to someone else that would possibly be able to.”
Carrera got a hit and his loan application was approved.
“I would just put down a small payment that I would get back with the loan after I was accepted.”
He paid Western Union $137 to wire money to the Dominican Republic. A few days later he ran into a problem.
“He was telling me that his computer was stating that I had to pay an additional fee.”
Carerra figured he got scammed, but the scam wasn’t over yet.
“I received a phone call stating I had a lawsuit put out against me for a loan that was taken out and not paid for.”
That’s when he knew he had been taken. If he couldn’t get a loan, he was sure no one else could in his name either, so he contacted the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
“Coloradoans are being victimized by this,” CBI spokesperson Susan Medina said.
Medina says loan scams are costing victims hundreds of thousands of dollars. The best clue that it’s a scam is when they ask for money up front.
“You’re going to have to give money to get money, and as part of that they’re going to ask you to wire money, and wire that overseas,” Medina said.
It’s not clear exactly what website or link Carerra clicked on, but the next time he wants a loan he’s going to a bank.
When it comes to online loan applications, they are going to ask for personal information right away such as bank account information, a Social Security number, and other information. Before filling it out, pick up the phone and verify it’s a legitimate lender.