Internet-Based Scam Hijacks City Place Tower Address - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

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Internet-Based Scam Hijacks City Place Tower Address, Respected Company Name

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

State and local officials are on alert after they say an internet-based operation is using a prominent Oklahoma City address to swindle people out of thousands of dollars. The Better Business Bureau is also on the case.

The bogus financial company, known as Lakeside Financial, claims it's located in City Place Tower – Oklahoma City's fourth tallest building.

The BBB says Lakeside Financial operates what's called an advance fee loan scam, one that is known for using trusted business names and legitimate-looking websites. San Antonio resident and Enid Air Force man Fred Bantin is one of the victims.

"I did a lot of research online to try to verify as much information as I could about the company," Bantin said.

Bantin says he found Lakeside Financial online. The phantom company, which has an F rating with the BBB, claims to be located in downtown Oklahoma City. The legitimate Lakeside Financial Group in Oregon has an A+ rating with the BBB.

"When I started to get queasy about what I was doing, I had already invested $1,200," said Bantin.

Bantin says he was promised a $5,000 loan if he put up just more than $600 as collateral. Before everything was said and done, the bogus company convinced him to wire an additional $1,800. Bantin never saw a dime.

"I just don't want anybody else to deal with this," Bantin said. "I probably lost 10 years of my life going through this three-week period. I'm a mess."

The owner of City Place Tower says he is investigating any legal options that can be taken against the person or people behind the scam –- that's if they can ever be found.

It is important to note that advance fee loans are illegal in the United States and Canada. The Federal Trade Commission says it cannot currently investigate the scam due to the government shutdown.

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