Updated: April 19, 2016
Originally Posted: October 31, 2013
Also Doing Business As:
- Cash Advance
- US Cash Advance
- Cash Advance Inc
- and other entities using variations of the name “Cash Advance”
“Cash Advance, Cash Advance Group, US Cash Advance, Cash Advance Inc., and other entities using variations of the name ‘Cash Advance” 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.
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 has received reports of what appears to be a payday loan collection scam. Numerous consumers report that they were contacted by entities claiming to collect debts owed to companies with “Cash Advance” in their names. The collection attempts often involve threats of lawsuits, asset seizure, and arrest. The consumers targeted did not actually owe the debt being collected. At least some of the consumers were targeted after they applied for loans from unlicensed online lenders. As stated above, this activity does NOT involve the properly licensed company Advance America, Cash Advance Centers of Washington, LLC d/b/a Cash Advance Centers.
Several consumers received threatening e-mails attempting to collect debts allegedly owed a company owned by Cash Advance Inc. The emails list numerous payday lenders and claim these lenders are owned by Cash Advance Inc. Some of these e-mails were sent by people calling themselves Jason Marroitt and David Jones.
One consumer received an e-mail from a man calling himself William C. Jones, who claimed to work at a Federal Trade Commission office. He threatened to disclose the debt to the consumer’s employer, garnish her wages, and file a law suit against her. Another consumer received a similar e-mail from a person calling himself Neal Johnson. Fake U.S. District Court arrest warrants were attached to these e-mails.
Several consumers also report receiving phone calls from entities attempting to collect debts owed to Cash Advance, Cash Advance Group, and US Cash Advance. Some of the collection calls came from people who called themselves Brian Wilson, John Murphy, Jim Spencer, and Andrew Martin. Some calls also came from a person claiming to work for Peterson Law Group and Debt Collection USA. In another case, the caller threatened to seize the consumer’s bank account and serve the consumer with legal papers at his workplace unless he paid the debt. Another consumer was threatened with arrest.
In one case, the debt collector threatened that he could have an arrest warrant issued if the consumer did not immediately pay him with a credit card. In other cases, the debt collector demanded payment using a pre-paid card.
Most recently, a consumer reported receiving an email explaining a “Final Legal Notice” on behalf of a parent company of Cash Advance Inc. The email was from a man calling himself Robert Jones and disclosed a fictitious case number and payment amount. He threatened legal proceedings and told the consumer that attorney fees would accompany the amount owed if they didn’t hear back from the consumer.
Here is the contact information that is associated with this apparent scam:
12850 W 331 Ste. 60
Alpamont, UT 84201
8901 S Wilton Place
Los Angeles, CA 90047
25954 Eden Landing Rd.
Hayward, CA 94545
There is a licensed collection agency associated with one of the above addresses. However, there is no evidence that the licensed collection agency or its employees are perpetrating the scam at issue.
Those perpetrating this scam are not licensed by DFI. They are also not licensed as collection agencies by the Washington State Department of Licensing.
Washington residents are advised that state law provides in RCW 31.45.105(1)(d) and (3) that a small loan made by an unlicensed entity to a person physically located in Washington is uncollectible and unenforceable 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 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.
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; or contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (855) 411-CFPB or online at 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 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 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.