“ACE CASH GROUP” SHOULD NOT BE CONFUSED WITH ACE CASH EXPRESS, WHICH IS A LICENSED LENDER IN WASHINGTON
The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) received a report of what appears to be a debt collection scam.
Recently, a Washington State consumer received an e-mail that claims that the consumer failed to repay a loan from “ACE Cash Group.” The e-mail threatens to contact the consumer’s employer and threatens legal action if the debt is not paid by a certain date. The e-mail also contains the consumer’s personal information. The consumer stated that he does not owe the debt being collected. This scam may have targeted the consumer because he applied for an online payday loan in the past.
The following e-mail address and phone number have been associated with this apparent scam:
ACE Cash Group is not licensed to make loans in Washington State and is not licensed in Washington as a collection agency or debt buyer. It appears that ACE Cash Group is operating from outside of the United States.
DFI cautions that unlicensed entities often engage in certain practices that indicate they are committing a fraud or otherwise violating Washington State law. For instance, such entities often use non-business email addresses (such as @gmail.com, @yahoo.com, or other similar easily obtained email addresses) to send correspondence, threaten legal or criminal action if consumers do not reply immediately, or contain a variety of typographical and spelling errors in their correspondence to consumers.
However, at times, e-mails or letters from unlicensed entities engaging in fraudulent activity will contain accurate personal information, such as current or past addresses, active phone numbers, or social security numbers. DFI encourages consumers who receive communications containing personal information to contact their banks, credit reporting agencies, and the Social Security Administration to ensure there is no unauthorized activity on their accounts.
In all circumstances, DFI also strongly suggests verifying the business licensee of entity that is requesting personal or financial information, or attempting to collect funds.
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 DFI’s website at www.dfi.wa.gov.
If you are suspicious of unlicensed activity by a lender, report directly to your state regulator: find your state regulator(link is external).
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 www.ftc.gov(link is external); or contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (855) 411-CFPB or online atwww.consumerfinance.gov(link is external). 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 www.ftc.gov(link is external).
If you feel you have been the victim of a loan scam involving the Internet please contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center online at www.ic3.gov(link is external).
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.