A 44-year-old Listowel man was scammed out of $1600.

The victim reported the con job to the Perth County OPP last Thursday.

The victim applied online for a consolidation loan through an American based lending company.

After completing the initial application he was advised his $10,000 loan was pending an upfront security payment.

He was initially instructed to wire $540 and was promised the loan would be quickly deposited into his bank account.

After checking his account he called back and was then told he needed to provide an additional $540 before the loan would be released.

He called back and then was instructed to wire an additional $550 before the funds would be released.

The victim complied once again and to no avail the loan was never transferred to him.

He called back and was told it was going to take an additional $400 in loan insurance fees before they could release the funds.  The victim refused and demanded his money be returned.

The company representatives advised him that he would have his money refunded however the victim hasn’t received a penny and has been unable to speak with representatives from the company.

Perth County OPP would like to remind everyone to follow these golden rules to beat the scammers:

·         Advance Fee Loans are very common.  If you cannot get a loan through a traditional lending institution, it is unlikely that you will get one in response to an online offer or classified ad.  If you must go this route, ask the loan company to take the amount of their fee off of the total amount of the loan that was promised to you.

·         Always get independent advice if an offer involves money, personal information or time commitment.

·         Do not hand over money or personal information, or sign anything until you have done your homework and checked the credentials of the company that you are dealing with.

·         Never send money, or give credit card or online account details to anyone you do not know and trust.

If you suspect that you may be a target of a fraud, or if you have already sent funds, don’t be embarrassed, you are not alone.

You can contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at www.antifraudcentre.ca or by calling 1-888-495-8501.

Alternatively you can contact the Perth County OPP Detachment at 1-888-310-1122.