The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

November 7, 2009

Caddo Mills couple warns of alleged scam

By CHAD BLACKSHEAR

A Caddo Mills couple is warning all area citizens of a scam by a fraudulent company based in West Virginia that asks applicants to wire money to Jamaica after they apply for a loan.

Brad and Shirley Blaylock responded to an ad in a local publication from Finance Direct, a company claiming an address in West Virginia, during which time the couple applied for a $3,000 loan.

The contract signed by the Blaylocks was for a $3,000 loan for a 24 month term at a fixed interest rate of eight percent. The loan also required three monthly collateral payments of $135 before the Blaylocks would receive the $3,000.

“After we paid them, they kept asking for more. We officially found out this was a fraud after contacting the Better Business Bureau in West Virginia,” said Braid. “We just don’t want anybody else to be taken advantage of,” added Shirley.

The Blaylocks estimated that they have lost approximately $600 due to the scam.

Upon finding out they had been scammed, reports were filed with the Caddo Mills Police Department and the Texas Attorney General’s Office.

According to Amanda Tietze, vice president of public relations for the Better Business Bureau in West Virginia, the company claimed an address in Charleston, West Virginia that is occupied by attorneys, but asked victims to wire money to Kingston Jamaica.

The phone number for Finance Direct listed on the Blaylock’s contract was out of service.

Two similar cases were filed against Finance Direct with the Better Business Bureau in West Virginia, but both were classified as unresolvable because the scammers are unable to be located.