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BBB warns consumers of payday loan companies and scammers that appear as loan companies

A hallmark of television and online advertising is payday loans offering thousands of dollars fast and within hours of applying. KRPS’s Fred Fletcher-Fierro tells us that not only are payday loan companies predatory, but so are the scammers appearing to be payday loan companies.

For the three years between July of 2019 and July of this year, the Better Business Bureau reported receiving nearly 3,000 customer complaints about payday loan companies with consumer losses of about $3 million.

During the height of the COVID pandemic and in the preceding months, once transmission of the virus slowed, the BBB received another 7,000 reports of loan and debt scams with amounts totaling $4.1 million.
Don O’Brien of the BBB says laws that govern payday loan companies can be challenging to follow due to not being uniform throughout the US.

“These payday loans, they’ve been a nuisance for a long time, now we’re to the point that some states are even banning them. I’m in the St. Louis office, I live on the Illinois side of the river, and you cannot operate as a payday loan officer anymore in the state of Illinois. It’s one of the 18-states that does not allow payday loans to be sold.”

Payday loans were outlawed in 2008 in Arkansas, although they remain legal in Missouri, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. For 89 9 KRPS, I’m Fred Fletcher-Fierro

Since 2017 Fred Fletcher-Fierro has driven up Highway 171 through thunderstorms, downpours, snow, and ice storms to host KRPS’s Morning Edition. He’s also a daily reporter for the station, covering city government, elections, public safety, arts, entertainment, culture, sports and more. Fred has also spearheaded and overseen a sea change in programming for KRPS from a legacy classical station to one that airs a balance of classical, news, jazz, and cultural programming that better reflects the diverse audience of the Four States. For over two months in the fall of 2022 he worked remotely with NPR staff to relaunch to an NPR style news and information website.

In the fall of 2023 Fred was promoted to Interim General Manager and was appointed GM in Feburary of 2024.