LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Scammers are masquerading as legitimate loan providers.

Reports suggest phony lenders are guaranteeing a quick loan with no upfront fees. Victims who provide their banking information to the scammers are left in the negative and scammed out of their money.

Chris Babin, with the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana, said, “The reports that we’ve had from consumers is that they’re getting unsolicited communications from lenders saying that they’re eligible for loans and varying amounts and that they need a bunch of information up front and what’s happening is they’re giving their credit card and bank account information to be able to have the funds given to them that they’re having loaned and what’s happening is they’re losing funds and falling into scammers’ hands.”

Once you agree to the loan, that’s when the scammers step in, taking your personal banking information to deposit the loan into your account via a check. Turns out, the loan check is fake.

“When they deposit it in their account, the supposed lender is telling them that they need to purchase some insurance for the loan and different things, so they send money elsewhere. Two, three days later, the bank lets them know the check doesn’t clear or the funds they send are long gone. The loan was not real, and the financial institution was fake,” explained Babin.

These scammers use the identity of a business that can easily be verified online. This allows them to gain their target’s trust.

“One of the scarier things with this type of loan is scammers are using reputable financial institution names so when you search that institution to find out information, it is a reputable institution,” added Babin. “The majority of ones it’s random people that weren’t even necessarily looking for any types of loans, but they’ve received some type of email, in some cases text messages or even social media messages claiming that they have a great offer on a new loan.”

Here’s some tips from the Better Business Bureau on how to avoid fake loan offers:

  • Avoid unsolicited loan offers. Scammers use offers of quick cash to lure you in. Don’t fall for it.
  • Expect a credit check. These scams often prey on people who may not easily qualify for a loan.
  • Verify the email address of the sender. The domain for the email address typically matches the domain of the official website.
  • Research loan providers before accepting an offer. View ratings and reviews to see what other people are saying.

For more on Eye on Scams, download our Eye on Scams podcast on 10 Talks Acadiana. It’s available anywhere you listen to podcasts.