Roughly two weeks ago I was searching for financial institutions to provide me with a personal loan for 8, 000 dollars. Out of the woodwork I received a call from an Emily Sonne with Walton's, stating that they were able to "find a lender" to work with me for the 8, 000. "Emily" stated that there were two options I could use to secure/become officially approved. One being to have a co-signer with a credit score of at-least 700 or pay $970 dollars for an insurance policy, which would cover the loan in case of disability, job loss, etc. I had to choose the insurance coverage.
I sent the premium of 970 plus the western union fee of 79.99 to Evans Mills, NY to be picked up by an Alex Johnson. I was told by "Emily" to activate a test question and answer and to call her back with the MTCN #, which I promptly did. She said that with that, once the money had been picked up and processed, the money would be direct deposited into my account within 48 hours. And that I also would be passed to a loan consultant named "Michelle Lindsey" to handle my account from then on. From reading another blog on here "Michelle" also goes by the last name "Lipinsky". "Michelle" also contacted me and confirmed that the money would definitely be deposited within 48 hours, I also was to receive a welcoming packet and the first payment wasn't due for 60 days. Wow....
Doesn't it figure, 48 hours pass and no money, I contacted "Michelle", she said give me a minute to pull up your account....as if she were trying to be legitimate...meanwhile probably thinking of the B.S. excuse she was going to give me. She said that she had to contact the insurance company to find out what the hold up was. When she called me back I noticed that the caller ID indicated she was calling from a cell phone, which was the case each time she called me. She had stated the reason the money hadn't been sent was due to the fact that the insurance company neglected to incorporate the cost of an "international tax something or other". I would have to shell out an additional $400 dollars plus the transfer fee.
This is when I would attempt to do some negotiating of my own. I told that obviously I requested a personal loan for a reason, and it was a stretch for me to come up with the first insurance coverage amount. I asked if there were some way either "Walton's" could take care of the $400 and I'd return the money when I received the $8, 000 or they could increase the loan amount to 10, 000. She said she would see what she could do. Of course I was waiting for a return call but found myself making one.
Bottom line, the only thing they could do was increase the loan amount. As soon as they received the money (400 for the tax, and 150 for the increase in insurance coverage) I would receive my loan within 24 hours. So I sent the money. Twenty Four hours pass and no money...I call "Michelle", she seemed surprised when i told her that I hadn't received the money yet and she was going to "find out" what the problem was. I call back and now an additional $400 is needed to secure the loan..
At this point I could not submit anymore money, I requested a refund today (28th). "Michelle" said she would "send it downstairs" to be processed and when it was she'd call back. Again I did the calling and was pissed at the answer I was given, the soonest I would receive a refund would be April 27th. I told her that is unacceptable, of course they receive their money in more than a timely manner, why shouldn't I.
Skip to tonight, I found a complaint on the same institution, that's when I think it REALLY set in that I had been scammed. We all feel the same, how could it happen to me, you hear about other people's misfortunes with scam "artists" but never expect yourself being one of them.
I placed a complaint with the IC3 website (www.ic3.gov). Even though I don't expect too much to happen with it, I will also be filing a complaint with the FTC, again not holding my breath. I may even look into the phone-busters.
I do want people to be aware of this scam but at the same time I would like to see results, I don't think enough is being done to bring down these rings, it's almost like we're told, "chalk it up as a learning experience" and we're out a lot of money. Money that could have gone to our families, at-least for me the loan was going to be used toward family expenses. As i look through the posted complaints, I can't help but notice that there are a large number of people who have been scammed by these companies and it seems like the end to their stories are the exact same, they are out of the money they gave and nothing was done or could be done for them, even myself, that is unacceptable. Either it is not important enough or we all are in the wrong line of business if it is this easy to get away with.