Phenix City couple loses hundreds of dollars in online loan sche - WRBL

Phenix City couple loses hundreds of dollars in online loan scheme

Posted: Updated:
William Houston and Cathyrn Gann William Houston and Cathyrn Gann
COLUMBUS, Ga. - An online scheme cost a local couple hundreds and threw a wrench in their plans to buy Christmas presents for their children and grandchildren.

William Houston and Cathyrn Gann were relieved when they were accepted for a loan. Their relief quickly turned to panic when they realized they had been taken advantage of. The couple spent their weekend searching for loans online in order to buy Christmas gifts. They filed out an application with their personal information including social security and drivers license numbers and on Monday received  voicemail from a man claiming to be with Advance America.

"The reason for my call was to inform you that your loan application has been successfully approved and accepted for a cash advance. Before we process that application, I need you to call me back on my toll free number," the couple recalls the caller saying.

The couple quickly called the man back and were told in order to get the $2,000 loan, they needed to show - in good faith - that they had $200. They went to a store to purchase a reloadable Vanilla Card and read the caller the pin number.

"He was supposed to just check it to see if I had it, and instead he took the $200 completely off the card," said William Houston.

The couple was devastated.

"We were getting the money up for Christmas. To buy our grand kids and kids something. I wasn't expecting it to be a scam," said Houston.

The couple went to the Better Business Bureau to report the situation and get help.

"You not only open yourself up to having your money stolen. There's a lot of headaches and heartaches with trying to recapture your identity," said the BBB's Leonard Crain.

Crain suggests going into your local bank to get a loan. However, Crain says those looking to shop online for loans should: make sure the website is secure with a HTTPS: address; check for a physical location; and contact phone number. He also warned couples such Houston and Gann should be cautious: fraudulent individuals might even pretend to be lawyers to get more of your money.

"What's going happen then is the lawyer is then going to ask you to get a card, load it, and give them the pin," said Crain.

The couple is working with the BBB and the card company to try and get their funds back. The BBB said there have been various scams going around asking individuals to load money onto a pre-paid card. They say you should not give those pin numbers to anyone unless you personally know them.

Naomi Keitt

Naomi Keitt focuses on education reporting for WRBL News 3. More>>

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Motorcycle club altercation leaves 2 dead, 2 injured

    Motorcycle club altercation leaves 2 dead, 2 injured

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 7:11 AM EDT2014-09-02 11:11:25 GMT
    Two victims were shot in the chest and died. Two other people had non-life-threatening injuries and are expected to survive, said police.
    Two victims were shot in the chest and died. Two other people had non-life-threatening injuries and are expected to survive, said police.
  • New Details: Columbus man dies after being run over by own car

    New Details: Columbus man dies after being run over by own car

    Monday, September 1 2014 9:46 PM EDT2014-09-02 01:46:27 GMT
    Flowers were left at the scene where 29-year-old Anthony Williams died early Sunday morning after police say he was run over by his car.The crash happened at Chase Homes on 1st Avenue. Many residents say they could hear the crash from inside their home.“You heard the loud boom and there was a crash, when I came over here he was just laying on the ground,” said Selena Ross.Police say initially they responded to a call late Saturday night about a pedestrian being run over by a car. After talkin...
    Flowers were left at the scene where 29-year-old Anthony Williams died early Sunday morning after police say he was run over by his car.The crash happened at Chase Homes on 1st Avenue. Many residents say they could hear the crash from inside their home.“You heard the loud boom and there was a crash, when I came over here he was just laying on the ground,” said Selena Ross.Police say initially they responded to a call late Saturday night about a pedestrian being run over by a car. After talkin...
  • PHOTOS: August 2014 Mugshots

    PHOTOS: August 2014 Mugshots

    Friday, August 15 2014 3:29 PM EDT2014-08-15 19:29:55 GMT
    Mugshots from across central Alabama from August 2014.
    Mugshots from across central Alabama from August 2014.
Powered by WorldNow

1350 13th Avenue
Columbus, GA 31901

Telephone: 706.323.3333
Fax: 706.327.6655
Email: news@wrbl.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.