The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) received a complaint from a consumer who was the target of an advanced fee scam. The consumer reported that, after he applied for several online payday loans, he began receiving loan offers over the phone.
One phone call was from a man who called himself “Sean Wood.” He offered the consumer a $5,000 loan if the consumer put $250 on a pre-paid card and disclosed the card number. After the consumer did so, Sean Wood demanded payment of $125, $100, and an “insurance fee.” The consumer paid $475 in fees, but never received the loan.
Two weeks later, the consumer received a phone call from a man who claimed to be Scott from Fast Cash USA. Scott offered to refund the $475 for a $108 fee. Ultimately, the consumer did not receive a refund.
The phone number related to this scam is 727-575-9660. DFI has no additional information about the scam.
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.
Washington State residents, if you are suspicious of unlicensed activity by a payday 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.