Remington was able to evade those checks because it was a nontraditional lender. Borrowers without track records—like Robinson—figured it was their only choice.
"I knew that traditional banks would never lend," Robinson told "American Greed." "I didn't have the assets to support that kind of loan that I would need, and I didn't have the experience."
In fact, she may have been operating under a common misconception among entrepreneurs, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, which offers a host of tips and programs to help small businesses get started and secure financing. The SBA specializes in linking start-up business owners with traditional financing they may not be able to get on their own.
Even after you have completed all those steps, you are not done yet.
Before you sign a loan commitment, experts say, have a qualified attorney look over the agreement. Don't sign on the dotted line until you and your attorney are satisfied.
Finally, and perhaps most important of all, beware of any lender—or any other business for that matter—demanding to be paid ahead of time. While there are instances where certain advance fees are proper, experts say in general they are a giant red flag—one that Remington investors missed again and again.
Doing due diligence can do wonders protecting you and your money. But you have to do your due diligence right.
Watch "American Greed," Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CNBC Prime.