3OYS: Loan officer asked, 'What's your bra size?'

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- "What's your bra size, babe?"

That question came from a so-called loan officer as he spoke with a woman who needed money for her family's move.

But the loan officer turned out to be a con artist, and the bogus lending company swindled a Valley family out of $1,000.

Tiffany and Sean Cuciak turned to the Internet to find a lending company that might float them a loan for their move.

"We went online and tried to find a loan, and this was an installment loan and we have never heard of that before," Sean Cuciak said.

The company was willing to loan the Cuciaks up to $7,000 but required a $350 processing fee.

The lender told the couple to go to Walmart and load the money onto a MoneyPak Green Dot Card.

The Cuciaks were then instructed to scratch the security code off the back of the card and tell the lender the security number so the lender could retrieve the money.

The Cuciaks followed the instructions, but the lender returned with another request.

"So, a half hour later, she calls me back and says, 'There's a bank-to-bank transaction fee I forgot to mention,' " Sean Cuciak said. "I was like, 'OK, how much is that?' "

It was another $390. Sean Cuciak said he again loaded money to the Green Dot Card.

The woman with the lending company told the Cuciaks there was yet another fee she forgot to mention --  a state tax fee. The Cuciaks paid the final fee of $280, bringing the total cost of the loan to $1,020.

After paying all of the fees and never receiving their loan, Tiffany and Sean Cuciak realized they had been scammed.

The couple called the lending company several times in hopes of getting at least some of their money back.

The person who answered their calls continued to pose as a loan officer and said the lending company required a cancellation fee. But when the con artist realized the jig was up, he started poking fun at Tiffany Cuciak.

She pleaded for her money back and asked him to take the cancellation fee out of the money she had already sent.

The man cursed at her, and then laughed when she told him she was recording the call.

"You want the money back?" he asked. "Well, I will give your money back but first you need to sleep with me."

Tiffany Cuciak and her family then realized they would not see a penny of that $1,020.

The Cuciaks said the only good thing that came out of the situation is being able to help potential victims by sharing their story.

"I've got to get this done and over with and move on with my life, and stop being a victim and start being an advocate," Sean Cuciak said.

To avoid becoming a victim of a similar scam, try to borrow money from a well-known lending company.

Most reputable lenders usually roll fees into the cost of the loan and do not ask for the fees before issuing the loan.

Also, while MoneyPak Green Dot Cards are legitimate, they are frequently used in scams, so be cautious.