Advance Fee Loan Scam
January 24, 2014
A Washington consumer reports that she was targeted by what appears to be an advanced fee loan scam. The consumer reports that, after she applied for a loan online, she received a phone call from an entity calling itself “Sinature Loans.” Sinature Loans offered a $5,000 loan if the consumer first wired $484.02. Sinature Loans stated that the money was collateral or the first three monthly payments. The consumer wired the money, but Sinature Loans then demanded an additional $650. The consumer never received a loan.
This apparent scam is associated with the e-mail address TracyTaylor@consultant.com and phone number 713-239-5685. DFI obtained records from the company providing phone service for 713-239-5685. Those records suggest that the individuals behind Sinature Loans are located in Kingston, Jamaica.
Sinature Loans is not licensed by the Department of Financial Institutions to provide loans in Washington State. It is also not licensed to otherwise do business in Washington State.
DFI strongly recommends that consumers deal only with those lenders that are properly licensed to conduct business. Consumers can determine whether lenders are properly licensed using the “Verify a License” feature on the DFI’s website at http://www.dfi.wa.gov/consumers/findcompany.htm.
Debt collectors cannot state or imply that failure to pay a debt is a crime. They cannot call before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. They cannot harass or abuse consumers, or contact consumers’ places of employment.
Washington State residents, if you are suspicious of unlicensed activity by a payday lender please contact the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions at 1-877-RING-DFI (746-4334), or online at http://www.dfi.wa.gov.
If you live in another state, find your state regulator.
If you feel you have been the victim of a loan scam please contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357) or online at http://www.ftc.gov; or contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (855) 411-CFPB or online at http://www.consumerfinance.gov. Because the scammers have access to bank account information and social security numbers, victims should consider themselves victims of identity theft and take appropriate precautions. The Federal Trade Commission has information for victims of identity theft available online at http://www.ftc.gov.
If you feel you have been the victim of a loan scam involving the Internet please contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center online at http://www.ic3.gov.
If you feel you have been the victim of a loan scam and are concerned about your personal financial information, contact your banking institution, and the three major credit bureaus.