Financial Affairs

Warning regarding the loan offer SMS

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Not all text that displays on your phone is legitimate. Some messages carry potential danger.

12 On Your Side investigates a text that appears to come from an international financial institution, but it does not.

If you get a text directing you to a business promising money right now and bad credit is okay, delete the message and get out of trouble.

It might not be a scam, but you could end up paying a lot for a small loan.

Mary Presley had early suspicions that the text on her cellphone was bait and hook fraud. He claims to be from Wells Fargo Bank – that’s the bait.

“Wells Fargo approved you for a $ 1,000 cash loan transferred to your account within 24 hours!” “

He asks Presley, who has been looking for a job since she was made redundant in December, to request the quick cash advance from her cell phone online at It’s the hook – Presley didn’t catch.

“People are having enough trouble now,” Presley said. “If these people who do this sort of thing worked this hard at a legitimate job, they could be millionaires.”

When you click on, the payday loan options are displayed. A long list of short-term loan offers appeal to those desperate for urgent cash.

Completing the application means giving up personal and banking information.

The same text that Presley reported, I forwarded to Wells Fargo Corporate Communications.

“This SMS is not endorsed by Wells Fargo,” said Kristy Marshall. “We do not contact our customers in this form.”

Additionally, online payday loans are illegal in Virginia. You can search for a lender online and even fill out an application, it is completely legal, but the deal has to be done face to face.

These types of messages are widespread and have many different names and company numbers.

“This is one of the most difficult crimes to track down, which is why we just encourage our clients not to give out any information and come and check it out.”

I called the number on the SMS and got a “not in service” message. An internet search didn’t return much except that the mystery number is in Tampa, Fla., In Hillsborough County.

Presley has followed his instincts and is now focused on alerting others.

“I just… just need a job. I just want people to be aware because life is too hard to be cheated. We work for a living, not to be cheated.”

Copyright 2013 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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