The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) warns consumers that before doing business with a financial institution, company, or individual, they should make sure that the entity is properly licensed. Consumers are urged to verify license status prior to giving the financial institution, company, or individual any nonpublic personal information, such as social security number or bank account number or access.
DFI received a complaint indicating that an individual claiming to represent the “Cash Advance Debt Collector Department” contacted a consumer via email about the collection of a loan reportedly from Cash Net USA. The email contained what appeared to be a case number, arrest warrant, and outstanding loan amount. The email then instructed the consumer to respond and pay the debt or her wages would be garnished, her employer contacted, her bank accounts seized, and legal action would proceed. The email listed numerous other licensed check cashers and sellers and payday loan companies as being affiliated with the scammer.
Contact information included in the email:
Representative: Mark Brown, “Accounting Department”
Address: Cash Advance Debt Collector
7850 Lago Del Mar Dr. Suite 118
San Diego, CA 92119
Email addresses: [firstname.lastname@example.org]
IN ADDITION, “Cash Advance Debt Collector Department” SHOULD NOT BE CONFUSED WITH ADVANCE AMERICA, CASH ADVANCE CENTERS OF WASHINGTON, LLC D/B/A CASH ADVANCE CENTERS, A CURRENTLY LICENSED COMPANY IN WASHINGTON STATE.
Those perpetrating this scam are not licensed by DFI nor registered to conduct business in Washington State by the Department of Licensing, the Department of Revenue, or the Secretary of State.
Debt Collection Laws
Collection activities by third parties are subject to the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). If you receive a communication from a party claiming that a debt is owed, you should request a “written validation notice,” which must include the amount of the debt, the name of the creditor you owe, and your rights under the FDCPA. If you have questions regarding debt collection laws please contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC HELP or online at www.ftc.gov(link is external).
If you feel you have been the victim of a 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 (2372) or online at www.consumerfinance.gov(link is external). If the scammers already have your bank account information, social security number, or other nonpublic information, you may be a victim of identity theft and you should take appropriate precautions. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) 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 scam involving the internet please contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center online atwww.ic3.gov(link is external).
If you feel you have been the victim of a financial scam and are concerned about your personal financial information, contact your banking institution and the three major credit bureaus. Procedures for contacting the credit bureaus are available on the FTC’s website at www.ftc.gov(link is external).