Alert Number: CA048919_5/14/18(5/19)
The state of Washington Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) has opened a complaint from a Washington consumer against Epic Loans. The consumer reported that Epic Loans had requested an advance fee in exchange for a “fast” personal loan. The consumer initially spoke with an individual identified as “Renee Vennetta Longan”.” Epic Loans requested fees from the consumer paid in iTunes gift cards, and allegedly promised the consumer that the loan would be funded once the iTunes gift cards were received. The consumer reported that Epic Loans continued to request additional iTunes gift cards for the loan to fund, or iTunes gift cards to cancel the loan and refund the costs. These facts have been alleged by the consumer, and have not been verified with the Department.
It appears that Epic Loans may be engaged in an “Advance Fee Loan Scam” and is requiring payment of an upfront or advance fee in order for the consumer to be able to obtain a loan. It appears Epic Loans did not provide the consumer with a loan after the consumer paid the advance fee.
Epic Loans is associated with the following contact information:
- Renee Vennetta Longan
- Derrick Paul
- Walter Michael Baker
Alternate company name:
- Epic Funding Loan Services
Epic Loans Not Licensed by the State of Washington
Epic Loans is not licensed by the DFI and is not registered to conduct business in Washington State by the Department of Licensing, the Department of Revenue, or the Secretary of State.
DFI warns Washington consumers that when considering doing business with a financial service provider the consumer can:
Make sure that the entity is licensed. Consumers can use the “Verify a License” feature on DFI’s website at www.dfi.wa.gov to check whether a payday or consumer loan company is licensed to conduct business in the state of Washington.
Never provide any personal information, such as social security number or bank account number or access if the company is not licensed or authorized to conduct business.
Important Information for Washington Consumers About Unlicensed Lenders
Washington residents only: If you suspect unlicensed activity by a payday lender or consumer loan company, please contact the Department at 1-877-RING-DFI (746-4334), or online at www.dfi.wa.gov. Even if the activity involves a loan you obtained over the internet, a license is generally still required. If a collection agency is attempting to collect a debt from you, you can check whether the company is licensed by the State of Washington Department of Licensing.
Important Information for All Consumers
If you received a loan from a lender and someone else is now attempting to collect the loan, collection activity may be subject to the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). If you are contacted by a third party claiming you owe a debt, you can request a “written validation notice,” which must provide the amount of the debt, the name of the creditor you owe, and your rights under the FDCPA. If you have questions regarding federal debt collection laws you can contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 1-877-FTC-HELP or online at www.ftc.gov.
If you feel you have been the victim of a scam you can contact the FTC at 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357) or online at www.ftc.gov; or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) at 1-855-411-CFPB (2372) or online at www.consumerfinance.gov.
If the scammers already have your bank account information, social security number, or other personal information, you may be a victim of identity theft. You can contact your bank and the three major credit bureaus to take appropriate precautions. The FTC has information for victims of identity theft online at www.ftc.gov.
If you feel you have been the victim of a scam involving the internet you can contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center online at www.ic3.gov.
If you feel you have been the victim of a financial scam and are concerned about your personal financial information, you can contact your banking institution and the three major credit bureaus. Procedures for contacting the credit bureaus are available on the FTC’s website at www.ftc.gov.
If you live in another state, find the regulator in your home state.