MEMPHIS, Tenn. –The Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South has issued a scam alert regarding a loan company claiming to operate out of Memphis, but there is no evidence that it does.

The BBB said it has received hundreds of calls and emails regarding a company called Universal Loan. Three people came forward claiming that the company scammed them out of nearly $ 2,000.

Houston, TX resident Tanya Cantu’s 12-year-old son ruptured his appendix and needed money for hospital costs in November 2019.

“I needed something fast and my son needed emergency surgery. I couldn’t raise the funds for a week, ”Cantu told FOX13 on a phone call.

Cantu said she went online to find a loan company and found one called Universal Loan with an East Memphis address on her website.

Cantu said she completed a loan application for $ 3,500 and paid the company $ 300 for processing fees. A representative of Universal Loan recalled it.

“He came back and said ‘okay, everything is fine. We will transfer the money to your account, ”Cantu said. “Then all of a sudden the money never came. I was like what’s going on. We were literally in the hospital waiting.

Cantu told FOX13 Universal Loan that he wanted an additional $ 750 for insurance costs. A total of $ 1,050 in fees for a loan of $ 3,500. Cantu said no and threatened to call the Better Business Bureau and told us the company had cut off all communication.

“We started a case on the company based on consumers who inquired about them and complained about them,” said Nancy Crawford of the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South.

The BBB attempted to contact Universal Loan about consumer complaints as it claimed to have an office in East Memphis.

When the company did not respond, the BBB issued an alert warning people that the company has an “F” rating. The BBB is investigating Universal Loan into allegations of fraud.

“We don’t think they are a legitimate business. The website was created in September 2019, we believe, for the sole purpose of stealing money from people looking for loans, ”Crawford said.

FOX13 went to the third floor of the office building in East Memphis where Universal Loan claims to have an office.

A manager of the suite where the business was supposed to be located told us that Universal Loan did not have an office on this floor or in this building.

FOX13 called the number on the website three times before someone answered. When we tried to ask Universal Loan about the complaints, the phone broke.

Tanya Cantu told FOX13 that she was not surprised but hopes the Better Business Alert will protect other consumers.

“I was very angry at the time. I thought my son was not going to have the operation, ”Cantu said.

The Mid-South Better Business Bureau has contacted its international office so they can ask the domain to remove Universal Loan.

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