The 52 year old paid almost £400 in set-up fees to a company for a £4,500 loan and she still has not received any money. Police are investigating. PC Steve Marshall said: More and more people are turning to online companies to secure loans after being refused them elsewhere, and we have seen an increase in reports of people being conned with so-called start-up fees. Often these companies ask for several small payments to individuals in foreign countries. I would urge people to use reputable companies and always be wary of transferring payments to individuals. It is also worth researching companies via online forums to see if they are trustworthy. For advice on money issues, contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau. To report a fraud, call police on 0345 456 456 4.