London family pays thousands in fees after $ 10,000 online ‘loan’ disappears

When Londoner Matt Larose learned he had been approved for a $ 10,000 loan despite his bad credit, he saw it as a ‘godsend’ that would help his family enjoy a ‘stress-free’ Christmas .

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When Londoner Matt Larose learned he had been approved for a $ 10,000 loan despite his bad credit, he saw it as a ‘godsend’ that would help his family enjoy a ‘stress-free’ Christmas .

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But instead of receiving the promised money, the 39-year-old father of two young daughters and his wife, Natalie, ended up losing over $ 2,000, leaving the family worse off and in a bigger financial hole.

Larose is now sharing his story so that no one else is a victim.

“We are aware of the scams that are happening there,” he said. “You hear about old people getting ripped off all the time and you say, ‘Well, you know, they’re old people,’ but then it happens to you.”

The ordeal for the couple began a few weeks ago, when Larose’s wife searched online for a payday loan that could help them pay off some of their debts.

She found a website for a company called Expanding Horizon Solutions, which claims to be located in Winnipeg and promises personal loans to people regardless of their credit history.

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After applying online, Larose was contacted by a woman claiming to represent the company and telling him that he had been approved for a loan of $ 10,000.

But due to his credit history, which includes bankruptcy, Larose was told he had to send additional information and just over $ 1,000 to cover three months of payments. The money would be used in case he missed a payment or he could get it back after six months if it wasn’t used, Larose was told.

“I have bad credit so it didn’t seem unreasonable to me,” Larose said.

After sending the money Natalie’s parents loaned them, Larose was contacted the next day by the same woman saying that further payment was needed before her loan could be released.

“It was like a godsend,” Larose said. “We thought this Christmas was going to be child’s play. I felt I could breathe and not stress, and then it happened.

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“And it wasn’t even our money. This is what makes us feel worse.

Again, Larose borrowed the money and sent it via wire transfer. But the $ 10,000 he was promised was never deposited into his account. The emails were never answered and the woman who contacted them never picked up the phone or forwarded their calls again.

“She was so professional,” Larose said. “I heard like a call center in the background, she had my information. She was just a really good actress.

Although Expanding Horizon Solutions’ sketchy site lists a Winnipeg address for its offices, the building has been empty for some time and is being offered for lease, said Jim Kulik, a broker with Colliers International, a commercial real estate company.

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“We are in the process of bringing another company into the building,” he said, adding that Expanding Horizon Solutions has never occupied the premises.

“It’s intriguing,” Kulik added. “The owner is now working with his IT department to try to find a way to take down the website.”

The website also shows photos of the company’s team members, which appear to have been taken on other sites and do not provide any phone numbers.

Const. London Police spokesperson Sandasha Bough said it was not uncommon for people to stumble upon online scams and questionable websites.

“We currently have a number of these scams, whether over the phone or over the internet,” Bough said, adding that London Police, who are investigating Larose’s case, are receiving reports daily of people losing money. money because of scams.

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“And it’s not always the people who contact you. . . you may be able to link to a website that is not legitimate.

Bough said people should always be wary when asked to send money to someone else for whatever reason and should always do research when dealing with a specific business.

“If you question anything, there’s a good chance it’s not legitimate,” she said.

As for Larose and his family, he said they are now looking for ways to overcome this problem and still have a good Christmas.

Yet the frustration is still with him.

“I can’t stay angry and angry here all day because that won’t solve anything,” Larose said.

“But it’s just sickening what they do to people,” he added. “We could have been on the streets because of it.”

Messages sent to an email address on the Expanding Horizon Solutions website requesting comment by The Free Press went unanswered.

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Twitter.com/JuhaatLFPress

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