Montel Williams had one of the longest running shows on TV.As a result, many people trust his advice.
A Cincinnati area woman, however, tells me that she's nowdeeper in debt that ever before, all because she listened toMontel.
Times Got Tough
Karen Kelly is a mom and nurse who struggles to make endsmeet. So when times got really tough, she turned to a name shetrusted: Montel Williams, and an ad she saw on late night TV.
Montel, in the commercial,says "go to MoneyMutual. com today and get up to $1,000 in yourchecking account by tomorrow."
Karen said "I mean who doesn't know Montel Williams? And Ifigured it was safe, and secure."
So she applied for a loan from MoneyMutual.com, the website with Montel'sreassuring face, giving it her bank account number.
Almost immediately, she says, her inbox was deluged. Karentold me "when I checked my email, I had 477 lenders saying I waspreapproved, we accept your application."
Companies Debit her Account
Worse, though, she says, is that several membership clubsstarted taking money out of her account without her consent!
She said "one charged me a membership of $149, right out ofmy checking account, when I had just eight dollars in there. Thatwas the reason I applied for the loan."
Her bank agreed to waive the overdraft fees, but Karen saysthe charges kept coming. She showed me receipts from a "WebDiscount Club" that charged her $22, and from a "Liberty DiscountClub" that charged her $34.
How Does Your Name Get Shared?
MoneyMutual -- based in Silver Springs, Nevada according to aWhois search of its website -- is not a lender: The fine printstates it shares your information with many different lenders. Andthat may be the problem.
Complaint sites like RipoffReport.com and ComplaintsBoard.com are filled with storiessimilar to Karen's regarding MoneyMutual, as is the blog of oneconsumer law legal group (clickhere).
Where is Montel?
I wanted to reach Montel Williams personally, but did not get aresponse when I emailed Montel's agency, and even sent a message tohis personal facebook account.
However, after emailing MoneyMutual.com, a representative replied to mesaying that "Karen Kelly may have mistakenly responded to an ad she sawwhile looking for Montel's website. We share names with onlylegitimate lenders, and do not give out personal informaiton tocompanies that will charge your bank account without yourpermission."
Karen does not believe she applied anywhere else other than atMontel's MoneyMutual site, but of course it is possible that sheclicked on an ad that took her to another site, where she sharedher banking information.
Meantime, if you're in financial trouble and need a loan, looklocally first.
And never give your bank account or debit card number out toa website, unless you are 100% sure its safe
That way you dont waste your money.
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