The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) received a complaint from a Washington State consumer about what appears to be an advanced fee loan scam. The consumer reported that he received an unsolicited message on his phone inviting him to apply for a loan at nofeewire.com. After he applied for the loan, he received a call from a man who claimed to be Mark Morgan from Better Loan Choice. Mark Morgan offered the consumer a loan if the consumer first made a monthly payment using a pre-paid card. After the consumer did so, Mark Morgan demanded a second fee, which the consumer paid. When Mr. Morgan demanded a third fee, the consumer attempted to cancel the loan. The consumer did not receive the promised loan or a refund. In total, the consumer lost $620.
The phone number associated with Mark Morgan is 599-478-0895. It appears that the people operating this apparent scam may be located outside of the United States.
Neither nofeewire.com nor Better Loan Choice is licensed with the Department to make loans. They are not registered to do business in Washington by either the Department of Revenue or the Secretary of State.
There is a loan matching company called Better Loan Choice doing business at 12500 Fair Lakes Circle, Fairfax, Virginia and at betterloanchoice.com. This loan matching company is not connected with the apparent scam at issue.
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 atwww.dfi.wa.gov/consumers/findcompany.htm.
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 lender please contact the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions at 1-877-RING-DFI (746-4334), or online at www.dfi.wa.gov.
If you live in another state, 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.