Customers lose hundreds of dollars after applying for loans online

Company lists non-existent SA address

SAN ANTONIO – Strapped for cash, Rene Brown searched online for a payday loan. In the end, she was out hundreds of dollars to a company that not has racked up complaints in four states, but lists a non-existent San Antonio address on its website.

The company is DollarsOnCall.com. Brown, who lives in Massachusetts, said because she had been loan shopping, she was not surprised when DollarsOnCall contacted her.

"The expressed that I was eligible for a $3,000 payday loan," she said. "I needed to come up with a hundred dollars to get the financing going."

But instead of taking the $100 out of the loan, Brown said the company instructed her to go to a CVS and purchase a PayPal card. After she read the numbers of the card and the company got the money, Brown said the company told her she'd need to pay another $180 by PayPal card to transfer the loan,but the loan never came.

"I paid them $280 and I got nothing but a headache and stress," she said.

Brown contacted her local police and the Better Business Bureau, which is now warning consumers about advance fee loans.

"According to the Federal Trade Commission, it's illegal for any business over the phone to promise a loan or credit card and ask for payment before those services are provided," said Miguel Segura, regional director of Better Business Bureau of San Antonio.

People in four states have filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau, alleging accounts similar to Brown's. They paid upfront, but the company did not deliver.

The address listed online  is 6300 Lake Superior in San Antonio. Although the residential street exists, there is no 6300 address.

A man with a Middle Eastern accent identifying himself as a senior supervisor at DollarsOnCall explained customers with bad credit scores do not get loans. He also gave two different names, at first identifying himself as James Franklin, and later as Tony Fernandez. He said customers who do not get loans are refunded within 90 days.

As for Brown, the 90 days have come and gone along with her money. She believes the company got her information from the payday loan sites she was visiting.

"Technology has made it very easy for these (phony loan companies) to target their potential victims," Segura said.

The company is not a registered broker with the Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner as required by the state.

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