Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

Consumer Alert:
Cash Advance Group

Payday Loan Debt Collection Scam

Updated: August 1, 2014
Originally Posted: October 31, 2013

Also Doing Business As:

It has been reported to the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) that a consumer was contacted by an individual identifying himself as Brian Wilson stating that he represented Cash Advance Group regarding a delinquent loan. The representative threatened legal action against the consumer. The representative also threatened to seize the consumer’s bank account and serve the consumer with legal documents at the consumer’s place of work. The consumer provided the following phone number that is allegedly tied to the company: 951-223-6693.

Another consumer reported receiving a message from an individual identifying himself as a police officer by the name of John Murphy. The consumer’s caller ID identified the telephone number as “911.” The individual threatened to issue a warrant for the arrest of the consumer for a payday loan debt with Cash Advance unless she immediately contacted an individual identified as Jim Spencer. The representative identifying himself as Jim Spencer threatened legal action against the consumer unless the alleged loan debt was paid immediately with a credit card. The consumer indicated that she does not have a loan with this entity. The consumer provided the following phone number that is allegedly tied to the company: 443-403-2041.

Additionally, a consumer reported receiving threats from email addresses johnsonlaw5@aol.com and neal.advocate@aol.com, stating that there was an arrest warrant issued against her, and directing her to call the State Attorney General. The representatives also attached a document which stated it was an arrest warrant from the United States District Court, and identified a representative by the name of Neal Johnson. When the consumer made contact by telephone, the representative threatened to pursue legal action against her for a payday loan debt with Cash Advance, but would not provide further details. The consumer indicated to the Department that no such loan exists. The consumer provided the following phone number that is allegedly tied to the company: 202-751-2493.

A consumer also reported receiving calls and emails from representatives of the Peterson Law Group threatening to arrest her for an alleged payday loan debt with US Cash Advance unless she paid them $900. The consumer provided the following phone number that is allegedly tied to the company: 402-318-7075. These entities are not licensed by the Washington State of Department of Financial Institutions as a payday lender, or by the Washington State Department of Revenue Business Licensing Service as a collections agent.

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.

Verify Licenses

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.

Report Fraud

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.

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