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Warning about loan scam targeting locals

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Photo: Video by ktnv.com

Warning about loan scam targeting locals

By Tricia Kean. CREATED May 6, 2014

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- You're pre-approved for a loan. Magic words that will get just about anyone's attention. A local family is warning locals about an offer that ended up costing them hundreds.

"I told them, I just want my money back," said Betty Hatfield.

It seems like you can't trust anyone these days. But Betty admits, she was far too trusting when her phone rang a couple months ago. Betty said the caller asked for her by name, "He says, could you use 3 or $4,000. I said yes. I need a loan."

She was told she was pre-approved for a cash advance. All she had to do, was pay a $188 fee.

"He said I had to go down to the CVS or somewhere, and get a Green Dot card and put the $188 on it," said Betty.

So she bought the recommended prepaid credit card. But right after she sent the money, she got another call. This time, Betty was told she needed to send $237.

"Good faith money. He says, you'll get that back plus $188 with the loan," said Betty.

But it didn't end there. Betty got another call, and actually sent another $300. But when she refused to send a 4th payment, she says the caller got ugly.

"He threatened to take my check away, my social security check, if I didn't send it," said Betty.

Fortunately, her son-in-law finally over heard Betty in the middle of an argument over the phone.

"I said look, I've done paid you all $725," said Betty.

"When she was talking on the phone about exchanging money. That's when I stepped in and asked her about it," said Clint.

He told her not to send any more money, and the next time the phone rang, Clint took the call.

"I said, I know you're a scam. I says, all we want is the money back," said Clint.

He said the caller hung up after that, and they haven't called back since. He said he's disgusted by what happened, "I cannot stand when people take advantage of other people. Especially the elderly."

That's why he's taking time to warn others. He knows many seniors live on a fixed income, and losing hundreds of dollars could be devastating.

"But at least this woman has some place to go. There's a lot of people out there that doesn't have no place to go or no one to depend on," said Clint.

Here's the Contact 13 bottom line: There's always a contract involved with getting a loan. In Betty's case, she was never sent any documentation.

Beware of sending money to someone you don't know, with a prepaid credit card or through a wire service. Once that money is sent, there's no way to get it back.

Tricia Kean

Tricia Kean

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Tricia Kean currently anchors the weekday evening editions of Action News.