I Have a Deposit Payment Locked Up - Is There Any Way to Speed the Process?
Long story short: we contacted a company called Bridgepoint Financial to finance me and my fiancee's wedding in the amount of 10k. Everything was smiles and rainbows, initially, the interest rate wasn't bad, the monthly payments were actually sounding pretty good. They claim to act as a mediator between us, the borrowers, and another party, some "private lenders." Things seemed kind of sketchy at first so we did the best research we and a few other people could do and couldn't turn anything up on the Albany, NY company. We both don't have great credit so we weren't really fielding a lot of offers at the time so this one seemed like our best shot at this - however, this also came with a stipulation: we give them a deposit which equaled out to three months' payment. The contract we were given states two things that seem to contradict one another - one, that upon retrieval of the deposit, within 24 hours, the company is contractually obliged to release the loan to us, but there's another statement that says they can request additional collateral or insurance at any time. That last statement is exactly what happened - they now have a big chunk of change with my name on it and it was hard enough to get that together, so I can't come up with any more and I demanded we get our deposit refunded. This deposit was made, probably foolishly, via Western Union to the private lender, and we are now being told that the contract has to be nulled and a refund check has to be mailed, a process that may likely take up to 14-26 business days. This is utter ridiculousness and I feel like an idiot and a moron for letting myself be taken to be a fool.
I know there's got to be a way to combat this and not simply roll over and die with this one: no one in their offices is willing to explore other options and a few agents even raised their voice with me... and they have a nasty habit of talking over me. I really don't want to believe that I may never see that money again and if we do, it'll be so long in the future that it's useless to even worry about.
ANY help with this would be greatly appreciated and I'm willing to do a lot to get these guys brought down a damned notch.
We did research every name on the contract, the name of the "private lender" the money went to, the company name... not much turned up. We all thought that no news was probably good news, people usually use the internet to try and complain about how they feel about things. The BBB didn't have a report on the company - was one of the first things I did after this, was file a complaint with them.
We've also threatened legal action in hopes that maybe this will shake things up, we'll see how that goes.
- 8 years agoFavorite Answer
So sorry to tell you but you were scammed. Your money is long gone and anyone that says they can help you get it back or loan you money is the EXACT same scammer trying to steal more of your money.
There is no loan, no loan company, no money, nothing will be deposited into your account and nothing legit in any of the emails.
The next email was from one of the scammer's fake names and free email addresses and has demanded you pay for made up fees, in cash, via Western Union or moneygram.
Western Union and moneygram do not verify anything on the form the sender fills out, not the name, not the street address, not the country, not even the gender of the receiver, it all means absolutely nothing. The clerk will not bother to check ID and will simply hand off your cash to whomever walks in the door with the MTCN# and question/answer. Neither company will tell the sender who picked up the cash, at what store location or even in what country your money walked out the door. Neither company has any kind of refund policy, money sent is money gone forever.
Now that you have responded to a scammer, you are on his 'potential sucker' list, he will try again to separate you from your cash. He will send you more emails from his other free email addresses using another of his fake names with all kinds of stories of being the perfect buyer, great jobs, lottery winnings, millions in the bank and desperate, lonely, sexy singles. He will sell your email address to all his scamming buddies who will also send you dozens of fake emails all with the exact same goal, you sending them your cash via Western Union or moneygram.
You could post up the email address and the emails themselves that the scammer is using, it will help make your post more googlable for other suspicious potential victims to find when looking for information.
Do you know how to check the header of a received email? If not, you could google for information. Being able to read the header to determine the geographic location an email originated from will help you weed out the most obvious scams and scammers. Then delete and block that scammer. Don't bother to tell him that you know he is a scammer, it isn't worth your effort. He has one job in life, convincing victims to send him their hard-earned cash.
Whenever suspicious or just plain curious, google everything, website addresses, names used, companies mentioned, phone numbers given, all email addresses, even sentences from the emails as you might be unpleasantly surprised at what you find already posted online. You can also post/ask here and every scam-warner-anti-fraud-busting site you can find before taking a chance and losing money to a scammer.
6 "Rules to follow" to avoid most scams:
1) Job asks you to use your personal bank/paypal account and/or open a new one.
2) Job asks you to print/mail/cash a check or money order.
3) Job asks you to use Western Union or moneygram in any capacity.
4) Job asks you to accept packages and re-ship them on to anyone.
5) Job asks you to pay visas, travel fees via Western Union or moneygram.
6) Job asks you to sign up for a credit reporting or identity verification site.
If you google "Western Union loan scam", "moneygram payment loan scam", "fake private loan company payment fraud" or something similar you will find hundreds of posts from victims and near victims of this type of scam.
Since that scammer intended to steal your money, he did not give you his real life information. All you have is one of his fake names, one of his free email addresses, one of his fake stories and one of his paid-for-in-cash cell phone numbers. None of that information is going to help your local law enforcement agency track down that anonymous scammer sitting in a cyber cafe half way around the world from you.
- JoLv 78 years ago
Yes, this was very foolish of you. But people do foolish things when they want money.
It's probably a scam and not likely you will ever see your money.
No reputable legitimate loan would request payments up front. For what? What are you making payments on? You didn't have the loan yet. And any time Western Union is mentioned - you can bet it's a scam of sorts. Nothing can be traced through Western Union. They can request additional collateral and insurance over and over and over until you get tired of it.
About the only thing you can do is wait the 26 business days. Keep in mind the "business days" thing. Does not include Saturday and Sunday. If no refund - then perhaps call the police and ask them how to report a scam.
Or maybe call them and tell them you will be reporting to the police - maybe that will shake them up.
- JerryLv 78 years ago
This sounds like an "advance fee broker", generally a fairly dodgy business.
Start with the Better Business Bureau (which you should have checked before any dealings).
Check the website for your state looking for "consumer protection". This could be a separate agency, or part of the Secretary of State, or possibly Treasurer's office.
There is a BBB report on Bridgeport Financial (rather than Bridgepoint) that sounds like a similar type business. Interesting note from Canadian authorities near the bottom.
- hazouriLv 44 years ago
That's now not an instantaneous deposit to your account by using the IRS. You'll get a paper investigate within the mail. The IRS doesn't have your bank account details, the tax prep company's accomplice financial institution does. As a result the IRS can not direct deposit your rebate.