Christmas is a time of giving, but some criminals use it also as a time of taking. That`s why the Missouri Commission of Finance wants to warn you about advance fee loan scams. They come in the mail and try to get you to send in a fee to acquire a loan, but no loan is ever granted. Some things to be look out for if you get a loan offer in the mail include companies requesting an advance fee for things like insurance or a deposit. Ones requesting the use of mail services like ups, Federal Express, or Western Union. They say most fraudulent operators try to avoid the US Postal Service. Watch for a toll-free number listed in a local paper answered by an answering machine. The scam will usually offer a low interest rate and promise the money will get to you very quickly. If you believe a fraudulent loan company has contacted you or if you have lost money in a scheme, you should call the consumer credit section of the Missouri Division of Finance at 573-751-3463.