Editor’s Note: We have consumers
willing to be interviewed by media.
Consumers are Urged to use
Extreme Caution when Applying for Loans on the Internet
IL – October 9, 2012 – Consumers wanting to obtain loans of a few hundred
dollars or less are urged by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to be extremely
cautious when applying for money from companies that offer loans over the
Illinois consumers are among those from 42 states that have sent
in more than 280 complaints to BBBs across the United States. These complaints
concern just one company, Utah-based, Zeal Funding Services, LLC also known as My Cash Guardian,
Money Leaf and My Money Toolbox.
some very disturbing commonalities in the complaints that our BBB and those
from other states are receiving,” said Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of
the Better Business serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Consumers have complained about
finding unauthorized withdrawals from their bank accounts and on their credit
card statement by the company. When
inquiries have been answered, the company states the withdrawals are for
previously unmentioned membership fees or account protection.”
say that they were not informed beforehand of these automatic withdrawals,
which can cause bank accounts to become overdrawn. In addition to the automatic
debits and questionable charges, there is another area of concern.
must be very wary of giving personal information to any company over the
Internet,” said Bernas. “You do not know who has access to or how an unknown
business protects your social security number, driver’s license number, bank
account numbers or other information.”
a consumer from Chicago
registering a complaint with the BBB, saw unwarranted charges on her account
after applying for a loan. “I applied for a loan and soon afterwards
the amount of $29.99 was withdrawn from my checking account twice, each time by
a different company.” LaTonia said, “When I called to find out what was going
on I was told that this was a fee for services to help me with my finances and
went along with the loan automatically. I go for a loan because I need money
and then I end up in this situation when I did not even agree to these
another consumer, had a similar experience when she took out a loan with My
Cash Guardian. “I found a $29.95 charge on my credit card that I
had not authorized. The company told me that I had agreed to this when I
applied for a loan. They promised me a refund within 10 to 15 days, but it has
been over three weeks and I have not seen it,” Wendy recalls, “I have gotten
three unauthorized charges on my credit card statement since this one for
unrelated things like bike parts. These charges were all under $30.”
The BBB offers the following tips for consumers to
protect themselves when doing business on the Internet:
- Verify the business’s contact information (name, address,
phone numbers) before you give out any personal information.
- Read the loan’s terms and conditions carefully. If
you don’t understand them, ask. If you are unable to get a suitable
response, don’t do business with the company.
- Be extremely cautious about providing social security
numbers, bank account numbers and other personal information to businesses
you do not know and trust.
- Deal with businesses that have proven to be
trustworthy and have known business practices. Ask friends and family members and
research the business. If a pop-up box appears after purchasing an item,
read the box carefully to see how you can close it out without agreeing to
- Check out the business with the Better Business
For more consumer
tips, visit www.bbb.org
As a private, non-profit organization, the
purpose of the Better Business Bureau is to promote an ethical marketplace.
BBBs help resolve buyer/seller complaints by means of conciliation, mediation
and arbitration. BBBs also review advertising claims, online business practices
and charitable organizations. BBBs develop and issue reviews on businesses
and nonprofit organizations and encourage people to check out a company or
charity before making a purchase or donation.