Alberta man warns about online loan application gone wrong

Alberta man warns about costly loan application
WATCH: An Alberta man said an online loan application cost him hundreds of dollars and he didn’t end up getting the loan. Tomasia DaSilva reports.

A High River man said he’s out hundreds of dollars after applying for a loan online to consolidate his credit card bills. 

Robert Patterson went to his bank to try and get a loan but said he was turned down, so he turned to online lender

He said he was approved for $40,000, but there was a catch.

“They told me, ‘For the first three months, we need a security deposit,'” Patterson said. “I owed them $1,750.”

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Patterson said he e-transferred the lender the money but was then asked to pay more.

“She said, ‘Oh, now we need insurance.’ And I was like, ‘What?’ And they wanted another $1,200.”

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A High River man shares his online loan nightmare story with Global News.
A High River man shares his online loan nightmare story with Global News. Tomasia DaSilva

Patterson said he refused to pay and cancelled the contract.

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He said the company promised his original deposit back, but months later, he said he had not received a refund.

“It was email after email, ‘Where’s my money, where’s my money?'” he said.

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The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre told Global News it received four reports about between August 2019 and September 2019.

“Three of the reports are classified as victims involving roughly $5,398 in reported losses,” spokesperson Jeff Thomson said.

The CAFC couldn’t confirm Patterson’s case was indeed a loan scam, but it did tell Global News loan scams are not new.

As of Aug. 31, 2019, it had received 515 loan scam reports, 327 of which were classified as victim reports involving more than $780,000 in losses.

It also said loan scams can be hard to spot, and it’s important to report them.

“Fraudsters are creating fake websites. They’re able to spoof legitimate websites,” Thomson said. “As fast as you shut down one of these websites, they have another one up. So it’s very important to report it — it could be the missing piece of the puzzle.”

He also advised consumers to do their due diligence and know their rights, especially when it comes to paying money upfront.

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“In most provinces, it is illegal to ask for money upfront in order to get a loan,” Thomson said.

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READ MORE: Don’t be fooled by online loan scams

The Better Business Bureau of Ontario confirmed to Global News that on Jan. 2, 2020, it also investigated the business practices of Lendworks Credit.

The BBB said its investigation confirmed that the lender was not located at its listed Ottawa address. It also attempted to contact the company by phone but was not able to leave a message because the number was disconnected.

The BBB issued an alert on the company, stating based on that information it could not confirm the legitimacy of Lendworks Credit.

Global News tried repeatedly to reach but did not receive a response to calls or emails.

Patterson’s attempts have also gone unanswered and he has lost hope of ever getting his money back.

“I’ve lost it. Chalk it up to learning experience,” he said.

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