Latest News from News 3

Las Vegas News | Weather | Sports | Traffic - MyNews3

Rip-Off Alert: Beward predatory advance fee loan schemes

(News 3)
(News 3)
Reported by: Marie Mortera
Set Text Size SmallSet Text Size MediumSet Text Size LargeSet Text Size X-Large
Updated: 11/29/2012 2:14 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- Have you had difficulty obtaining a loan through normal sources? If yes, you may become the target of an advance fee loan scheme.

One scheme happens when a con artist offers you a “guaranteed" loan for a fee paid in advance.

What appeared to be endorsements from Montel Williams and "The View" lured in as many of the 30,000 victims of this particular scheme.

"On the website, he would display prominent images of talk show hosts, imagine household names, he would often say he had been on these shows,” said William Zelmblidge, a U.S. postal inspector. "Victims would say in witness interviews that they often relied on these endorsements as a reason they trusted this service."

The problem: The con man running these ads was never on those shows. His promise: For $99, his company -- Golden Harvest -- would send consumers with poor credit a list of lenders who "might" give them a loan. He also offered a 100 percent guarantee of satisfaction. What happened? Consumers got nothing for their money.

"He chose to offer this bogus service for $99 dollars, and part of this was calculated. It was enough for him to make $3 million over a short number of years, then again, victims may say, ‘I don't know if this is worth my time,’ ” Zelmblidge said.

These are just some of the thousands of complaints consumers sent by mail demanding their money back. In response, the con man in question would actually insult those who dared to complain.

"When people would take the time to write and complain about refunds, that's when he would take the time to insult their spelling, and SAY why they don't have good credit," Zelmblidge said.

Postal inspectors began investigating after numerous consumers began complaining to the Better Business Bureau.

Inspectors also say anytime you are asked for money up front without verification of service that is another red flag of a possible scam.


Popular Right Now:
Las Vegas a new frontier for porn industry 

Updated: 10/29/2014 9:57:09 PM

Developers say work to begin on Strip arena

Updated: 10/29/2014 7:33:00 PM

Jackie Robinson (John Locher/AP Photo)
Lava won't chase out some people

Updated: 10/30/2014 5:40:02 AM

PAHOA, HAWAII - OCTOBER 26:  In this handout provided by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), A portion of the front of the June 27th lava flow burns through thick vegetation and a fence on October 26, 2014 in Pahoa, Hawaii. Scientists of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory conducted ground and air observations of the lava flow from the Kilauea Volcano and determined that it was 510 meters (560 yards) upslope from Pa-hoa Village Road and the flow width was about 50 meters (55 yards) at the leading edge. Molten rock from the flow is inching its way towards homes in the town of Pahoa on Hawaii's Big Island where close to a thousand people live.  (Photo by USGS via Getty Images) (Handout, 2014 USGS)

All content © Copyright 2014 Intermountain West Communications Company. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service
You may also view our Sitemap.

FCC assistance for any person with disabilities can be provided by contacting us at

KSNV Profile & Public Inspection Files

2014 NBCUniversal Media, LLC. All rights reserved. Portions by Broadcast Interactive Media


Inergize Digital This site is hosted and managed by Inergize Digital.
Mobile advertising for this site is available on Local Ad Buy.