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Milwaukee grandmother loses $1500 in scam

CREATED Dec 10, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - You ask, we investigate.  A Milwaukee grandmother is trying to figure out how she can buy Christmas presents after she was scammed out of $1500.

Brendette called TODAY'S TMJ4 after a Google search on payday loans led her to a company called "Cash Net USA."  She sent them $1500 for a $3000 loan and claims they want more.
"I'm just sick, I don't know what I'm gonna do really," said Brendette Williams.
Williams has eight grandchildren and one on the way.  Thinking about Christmas, Williams went online December 2nd and found "Cash Net USA."
"But they told me before I can get it, that I had to pay taxes on this money," said Williams.
Williams was told the best way to pay the tax was to buy green dot money cards. Williams complied. She gave Cash Net USA the code on each card.
"And then they told me that the money would be in my account in less than 30 or 40 minutes. No money, I wait two, three hours and call back.  Yea I called him back and they still tell me I have to send $150 in to get the money," said Williams.
And she's not alone.  Hundreds of loan applicants around the country have posted a poor review of Cash Net USA online.  In Milwaukee, the Better Business Bureau has this advice:
Ran Hoth with the Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin says,"The Better Business Bureau has 168 complaints filed against this company over the last three year period.  When someone contacts you and says you've got to prepay for a loan payment, use a green dot card, use a wire transfer, that's the first red flag that the BBB puts up."
Last month, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took action against Cash Net USA's parent company, ordering them to refund consumers involved in a debt collection lawsuit.  But, as for Brendette, her money is long gone.
We called Cash Net USA for comment. A customer service rep says his company would never ask for money up front, that loan applicants are put on an installment plan.  He believes others have been misrepresenting themselves as Cash Net USA.