BALTIMORE — A number of people are struggling financially due to the pandemic, and when they sought help through emergency loans, many handed over what money they had and received nothing in return.

For Jessica Murphy, this year has been hard for many reasons.

“I had cervical cancer and I had to have surgery, and for months I wasn’t making any money,” said Murphy.

She fell behind on her bills. Her credit score dropped. So, she took the advice of her friends and sought out a loan company.

“Filled out a form online, just basic information like my name and email and phone number and they called me,” said Murphy.

A guy named Mike with Instant Emergency Loan said she’d been approved, but first she needed to send money for insurance.

“And I tried to explain to this man like, I have no money. All the money that I have is what I’m sending you so I can get a bigger loan to pay my bills because I’m about to have surgery. I’m a single mother of two,” Murphy said.

Mike assured her that as soon as he got the money, she’d receive a $3,000 emergency loan.

“He asked me yet again for a third payment and that’s when I was like absolutely not. I was like not only did I already send you all the money that I have to my name, but I know that this is a scam,” said Murphy.

In all, she lost $700.

“We’ve definitely seen an uptick of these,” said Angie Barnett with the Better Business Bureau serving greater Maryland. Barnett added that it is illegal for any company to…

Read more…