The North Carolina Attorney General says payday loans have always been a bad idea, but now it's even riskier. Even requesting information from a payday loan outfit online can put your information and your money at risk.
The state shutdown payday loan outfits who had businesses in North Carolina several years ago, but some companies still do payday lending online. Loans of a few hundred dollars can come with extremely high interest rates, of more than 600 percent.
Officials say confidential personal information of people who fill out online payday loan application is sometimes sold to scam artists. That gives the criminal access to withdraw money from the applicant's account. In other cases, scam artists operate fake payday loan websites and use private information from consumers’ applications to steal money from their accounts.
Some people who simply visit a payday loan website and provide their phone number or email address are being targeted, officials say. Phony debt collectors call and email, insisting that the consumer owes money.
Report debt collection scams to the Attorney General’s Office by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or filing a consumer complaint online at www.ncdoj.gov.