Fradulent loan practice takes money from thousands

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by NBC Charlotte Staff

WCNC.com

Posted on November 9, 2012 at 4:53 PM

Have you had difficulty obtaining a loan through normal sources?

If so, you may become the target of an advance fee loan scheme. In such a scheme, a con artist offers you a "guaranteed" loan for a fee paid in advance.

“On the website, he would display prominent images of talk show hosts - imagine household names - he would often say he had been on these shows,” said U.S. Postal Inspector William Zelmblidge.

What appeared to be endorsements from Montel Williams and "The View" lured in as many of the 30,000 victims of this particular scheme.

“Victims would say in witness interviews that they often relied on these endorsements as a reason they trusted this service,” Zelmblidge said.

The problem is the conman running these ads was never on those shows. His promise for $99, his company-golden harvest--would send consumers with poor credit, a list of lenders who "might" give them a loan. He also offered a 100 percent guarantee of satisfaction. what happened?  But consumers got nothing for their money.

“He chose to offer this bogus service for $99 dollars and part of this was calculated... it was enough for him to make $3 million dollars over a short number of years, then again, victims may say "i don't know if this is worth my time,” Zelmblidge said.

Postal inspectors began investigating after numerous consumers began complaining to the better business bureau.

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