If any loan company asks for a large upfront fee - run the other way!
The online loan company scam we just exposed is really just a new version of the "Nigerian Check Scam". In this case, the money was wired to Canada.
And here's the worst part...if you are a victim, the chances of ever seeing your money again is almost 0. If you have truly lost money, you can file a complaint with your local F.B.I. agency. But let's be honest. Rarely are they able to get it back for you.
If you'd like to try, here's a link to the FBI's internet crime complaint center:
The best thing here is to prevent becoming a victim in the first place. Some states, like Connecticut have laws against lenders asking for fees. Oklahoma does not. However, I talked with everyone from the Banker's Association, the Department of Consumer Credit, and a local lender, and all say any fees will be minimal. We're talking a credit check - or a home's appraisal (it's a little different when it comes to mortgage loans).
As with any business transaction, use a reputable company. Check them out with the BBB. And if your gut tells you something's fishy - listen to it! And pick another company.