The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) has received a report of what appears to be a payday loan collection scam. A consumer reported that they had been contacted by e-mail by an entity claiming to collect debt owed to a company named Advance Cash USA. The email also contained a company name of Advance Cash Legal Services. The collection attempt also involved a threat of a lawsuit. It appears that the consumer who was contacted does not actually owe money to Advance Cash USA.
The following contact information is associated with this e-mail:
Addresses: 202 Independence Ave, Washington DC 20201 (address does not appear to exist)
This entity is not licensed by the Washington State of Department of Financial Institutions as a payday lender or by the Washington State Department of Licensing as a collection agency.
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.
Payday Loan Debt Collection Laws
Collection activities are subject to the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Therefore, if you have questions regarding debt collection laws please contact the Federal Trade Commission at 382-4357 (1-877-FTC HELP), or online at www.ftc.gov.
Debt collectors cannot state or imply that failure to pay a debt is a crime. They cannot call before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. They cannot harass or abuse consumers, or contact consumers' places of employment.
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.