Date Posted: 
Thursday, February 6, 2020

The State of Washington Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) has received information that a man representing himself to be Lonnie Peter has requested advance fees of $1,450 from a customer in exchange for assistance in obtaining a loan for the purpose of purchasing an investment property.

The customer saw an ad for a man named Lonnie Peter through a Facebook real estate group where he claimed to be a private money lender. The customer contacted an individual representing himself to be Lonnie Peter and they began communicating via email. This person told the customer that their loan had been approved, and that they are now responsible for paying $1,450 in fees before receiving their loan.

To seemingly help provide legitimacy to this transaction, the person representing themselves to be a man named Lonnie Peter provided the customer with a copy of his supposed Washington State driver’s license to prove his identity. DFI has since reviewed Lonnie Peter’s purported Washington State driver’s license and has confirmed that it is fake. Furthermore, DFI has been unable to locate any individual by the name of Lonnie Peter.

Consumers can check the status of a Washington State driver’s license by using the Department of Licensing search feature located here:

DFI warns Washington consumers of the following:

Be extremely cautious when asked to pay a fee up front prior to receiving any loan proceeds, especially if an escrow or a title company is not involved in the transaction.