Advance Fee Loan Scam
February 18, 2014
A Washington consumer reports that an entity called Priority Payday may be operating an advance fee loan scam. The consumer reports that she submitted her personal information on several loan matching websites and, a short time later, she received multiple phone calls and e-mails from entities offering her advance fee loans. Among those was Priority Payday. A representative of Priority Payday named John Benson offered the consumer a $3,000 loan if the consumer paid an advance fee of $219.98. Attached to John Benson’s e-mail were several loan documents that do not appear to be legitimate.
Priority Payday is associated with the following contact information:
The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) contacted the company providing phone service to Priority Payday. Based on phone records obtained, it appears that Priority Payday is located in India.
Priority Payday is not licensed to provide loans in Washington State. It is also not licensed to otherwise do business 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 the DFI’s website at www.dfi.wa.gov/consumers/findcompany.htm.
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.