The post-Christmas period sees a lot of Missourians concerned about paying those bills that accumulated during the holiday shopping season. And, it’s a ripe time for loan scam artists to take advantage of unsuspecting people who need cash in a hurry. The Missouri Division of Finance is warning of loan scams operating in the state and elsewhere. Steve Geary, the Division,s senior counsel, says the scammers often place advertisements in free publications. Victims then call an 800-number to apply for a loan. They are called back a short time later and informed they qualify but must pay an advance fee. The fee is paid, the loan never comes, and the money that was paid is gone forever. The Division cautions that no legitimate loan company ever asks for an advance fee from a borrower.