Alert number: CA055330_6/14/22(6/23)
The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) received a complaint from a consumer against Stafford Lenders. It was alleged that Stafford Lenders is operating in Seattle, Washington. The consumer reported that a representative from Stafford Lenders required the consumer to pay $540.00 in advance fees for a loan that Stafford Lenders never provided. The consumer was informed that they were approved for a $5,000.00 loan, but then was asked to pay a collateral payment, and an insurance payment. The consumer stated they requested a refund; however, no refund was received.
It appears that Stafford Lenders 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. Stafford Lenders did not provide the consumer with a loan after the consumer paid the advance fee. It appears that individuals named “David Caden,” “Eric Halen,” “Trevor Newson,” and “Travis Nance” who may be based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, may also be connected to this scam as possible recipients of funds.
Stafford Lenders appears to be associated with the following contact information:
719 2nd Ave
Seattle, WA 98104
1*877*375*3369 Ext. 3
Fax number: 1*877*583*4993
Stafford Lenders is not licensed by 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 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.
Please Note: Stafford Lenders should not be confused with the following similarly named product:
- Stafford Loans provided by the United States Department of Education
Important Information for Washington Consumers about Unlicensed Lenders
Washington State residents are informed that Washington State law provides in RCW 31.04.035 that fees or interest charged in the making of a nonresidential loan by an unlicensed lender must be refunded to the borrower. For a residential mortgage loan, an unlicensed lender must refund any non-third-party fees charged in connection with the origination (excluding interest charges).
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.