January 11, 2017 10:22 pm

Buyer beware: Lumby, B.C. man loses thousands seeking online loan

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It could serve as a warning to others. Unable to get a loan from a bank, a Lumby, B.C. man lost thousands when he went online looking for a loan to buy a house.

It was the slogan “banks say no, we say yes” that drew Zach MacLeod’s attention to Bayport Lending Service online.

“Everything seemed legit right down to the documents,” MacLeod said.

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“[Bayport Lending Service] called me a couple days later saying I was approved, but because they are not a mortgage broker, they are a lending company, that I had to buy insurance on the loan.”

Read More: Don’t be fooled by online loan scams

MacLeod said when he got suspicious it might be a scam, he was also reassured over the phone.

“I don’t want you giving up this wonderful opportunity that is available for you,” the caller said. “Personally speaking I don’t get paid to sell insurance or even get paid commission. I get paid an hourly salary to help people.”

So MacLeod made the payment.

“Then they called me back saying because of my credit I needed to upgrade my insurance package,” MacLeod said.

MacLeod said he ended up paying over $8,400, supposedly for insurance on the loan. When Bayport asked him for more money a second time, he told the company he no longer wanted the loan and asked for the money back. However, he said, none of the money has been returned.

“They didn’t send me any documents to release my refund,” he said.

Losing thousands of dollars has had a big impact on the father of four and his family.

“They didn’t have a Christmas. My son came to me in bed and just asked why there was no presents under the tree. That was hard,” MacLeod said.

The RCMP are investigating but so far aren’t ready to call what happened to MacLeod a scam.

Bayport claimed to be based in Windsor, Ont.. A Better Business Bureau branch in that area has given the business an F rating, its lowest rating.

“Bayport Lending Service is an advanced pay loan scam which is illegal in Canada which is how they got an F rating,” Ashley Casselman a spokesperson for the Better Business Bureau Serving Western Ontario.

The Better Business Bureau said advanced fee loan scams are a common type of scam.

“They just pop up. They scam a few people and then they will disappear and go on their way. Usually they just change their names, change their contact information,” Casselman said.

Bayport Lending Service’s website can no longer be viewed and phone calls to numbers associated with the business went to a message telling callers to try again later.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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