The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (“DFI”) warns consumers to verify that any lender with which they consider doing business holds the appropriate license. Consumers are urged to verify licensing status prior to giving lenders nonpublic personal information, such as social security and checking account numbers.
DFI received a complaint against Instant Loan d/b/a instantloan.net (“Instant Loan”). It appears that this entity is operating an advance fee payday loan scam. Instant Loan is not licensed with the Department. Often times an unlicensed business will require that consumers pay fees in advance of receiving a loan but will not provide the loan after receiving consumers’ 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 the Department’s website atwww.dfi.wa.gov.
Payday Loan Debt Collection Laws
Collection activities are subject to the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Therefore, if you have questions regarding debt collection laws please contact the Federal Trade Commission at 382-4357 (1-877-FTC HELP), or online at www.ftc.gov(link is external).
Washington State residents, if you are suspicious of unlicensed activity by a payday lender please contact the Department at 1-877-RING-DFI (746-4334), or online at www.dfi.wa.gov.
If you live in another state, go to the following webpage to find the regulator in your home state:http://mortgage.nationwidelicensingsystem.org/consumer/Pages/AgencyContacts.aspx(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 (2372) 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.