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Local woman has warning about payday loan scam

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) — Most of us need a little extra cash in our pocket from time to time. When funds are low, some turn to a payday loan company.

But as one Las Vegas woman recently learned, you’ve got to be careful about who you do business with.

“So it’s just been really, you know, I’m having a hard time,” said Sandra Pickens.

She said money is tight. She’s been out of work for the last nine months. To cover her expenses, Sandra said she applied for a payday loan.

“Just did a Google search you know, put in a general application,” said Sandra.

Sandra said she applied through an unknown service, that sent her application to a number of loan providers. Shortly after, she got a call from someone claiming to be a lender.

“I couldn’t understand what he was saying. I’m like, excuse me. What do I need to do? Who are you calling from?” said Sandra.

The person told Sandra she was approved for a $2,000 loan. But before getting the money, Sandra was told she’d have to pay an up front fee of $200.

“He’s like, well we need you to go purchase a prepaid card, like Green Dot, and put $200 on the card and then call us back,” said Sandra.

She said the request raised a red flag. Not only did she feel uncomfortable sending money, but she explained, she didn’t have $200.

“He was like can’t you go borrow it from your friends and family? And I’m like if I could, I wouldn’t be borrowing it from you,” said Sandra.

That’s when Sandra hung up and decided to reach out to Contact 13. She wants to make sure others know who they’re applying with, when looking for a payday loan.

“He had all my personal information. My date of birth, my social, where I live. I’m just glad I got the sense, to, I’m not sending them any money,” said Sandra.

Here’s the contact 13 bottom line: The Federal Trade Commission says if you’re told to pay a fee in advance for a loan, then it’s a scam. Never send money to someone you don’t know with a prepaid credit card or through a wire service.

Once that money is sent, it’s gone for good.

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