The Sault Ste. Marie Police Service Fraud Unit has received several calls regarding online loan scams.
A person becomes a target to this crime when they apply online for a loan. Once the victim has applied for the loan, the company then asks for money up front to guarantee that the person seeking the loan will pay the loan back.
After a few days the victim will receive a phone call from the company saying there are problems with the loan being processed and that more money needs to be sent to ensure the loan transaction can be processed.
The company will request that the funds be sent via money order or email fund transfers.
In the end, the victim never receives the loan and is out money.
The biggest difficulty with police investigating these crimes is that the offence may take place outside of Canada due to the internet. These crimes are often unsolvable and the victim is out of money that they really could not afford to lose.
Investigators with the Fraud Unit would like to remind the public that if they are looking for a loan to do their research. Be sure to look around and check with banking institutes, private business lenders and trusted online sites.
If you do decide to apply for a loan online you should never have to provide money up front before money is given to you.
Criminals will hide behind the anonymity of the telephone and the internet to try to swindle thousands of Canadians every year.