6 On Your Side Answers: Online payday loan scams

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KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Payday loan companies are big business throughout East Tennessee. Realizing the profits that can be made, you can now find payday loans online.

Shanna from South Knoxville wrote, “I received a call from one of these online companies claiming I owed them money. I don’t. Please warn people.”

Shanna Cooper says she keeps a tight budget at home, always watches what she spends and pays her bills on time.

However, a recent call unnerved her.

“They said I had gone online and purchased a loan online,” said Cooper.

The $300 online advance loan supposedly was made in February of last year, according to what Cooper had written down, but the caller claimed she owed a lot more and they were willing to negotiate.

“Well, the $300 went to $4,000 then to $1,300, to $800 is what they wanted me to pay them,” she said. She says then they threatened her with arrest.

“They gave me till 2 o’clock yesterday for my husband to contact them, or they were going to get me for fraud,” Cooper said.

No one has shown up at her door or taken anything out of her bank account.

The caller also told Cooper three different name for his company: Cash Now USA, Cash Now and Cash.now.

At first, Cooper didn’t know what to believe.

“Yes, I was very frightened. I was very frightened,” said Cooper.

The more questions she asked, the more she realized the caller was a fraud.

“Never, ever went on the Internet and took a loan through nobody,” she said. However, they worked hard to convince Cooper that she did.

Wherever money is involved, a scam artist will be waiting nearby, and this fake payday collection con has successfully stolen money from a lot of innocent people.

Watch out for unsolicited phone calls or emails from payday loan companies. If you’re tempted, don’t respond to them.

There are legitimate payday loan businesses. Remember, however, you pay back the entire loan within a certain specified period, usually 30 days. After that the annual percentage rate soars.

To find out loan company ratings, contact the Better Business Bureau to see if there are complaints.

You can see Don Dare’s 6 On Your Side Answers every Tuesday and Thursday on 6 News at 4:00.

If you have a question you can send Don an email at ddare@wate.com or call his 6 On Your Side hotline at (865) 633-5974.

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