Updated: February 02, 2015
Originally Posted: September 18, 2013
Numerous Washington consumers report that entities called Cash Advance USA and Cash Advance may be operating advanced fee loan scams. The consumers report that these entities contacted them by telephone and offered them loans if they first made payments using prepaid cards. After the consumers paid the advance fees, the callers and their associates demanded more advanced payments. Ultimately, four consumers lost between $250 and $794.85. None of these consumers received a loan.
In several cases, consumers reported receiving calls from Cash Advance and others offering advanced fee loans after disclosing personal information on loan matching websites. In one case, a consumer reported that she has never applied for payday loans, but Cash Advance repeatedly called her and insisted that she had applied for a loan.
The phone numbers associated with these apparent scams are:
DFI contacted several companies providing phone service to these apparent scams. Based on phone records obtained, it appears that the individuals operating these apparent scams are in India and Jamaica.
One consumer also reported receiving an e-mail from email@example.com in connection with this apparent scam. In the e-mail, Cash Advance USA claimed to have a license to make loans and even provided the consumer with a copy of the purported license. However, the license was a forgery. Neither Cash Advance USA nor Cash Advance is licensed to provide loans 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/consumers/findcompany.htm.
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.
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.