Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Online scams

I had a client come in today who was very distressed.  She had applied for an online payday loan with something called loan1clickcash.com.  It operates through Money Mutual (which supposedly refers people to different lenders, acting as a broker.  Montel Williams fronts for Money Mutual.  This client borrowed money and obviously gave information like her bank account info, social security # and other info.  After that, she started getting calls supposedly from Sacramento California (Indian guy) who tells her if she doesn't pay money to them right away, they are going to send police after her for check fraud.  They called her cell phone and even her work number.  Unfortunately, she made one payment, after being told that they only accept money pak, no credit cards, no certified checks, no western union.  Of course, there was also no receipt.  Then they call back from a different number from Tennessee, again saying she has to pay the balance or else she will be arrested.

People are being taken in by Money Mutual and their so-called lenders.  I decided to call some of the numbers she gave.  The one in Tennessee claimed to be with the law firm of a real law firm in Tennessee. I asked him to put an attorney on.  He put me on hold and never came back on.  Then I looked up that law firm and their website had a notification warning of scammers claiming to be from their law office trying to get money.

Then I called the California number and said I was an attorney and I would like to know when they started hiring Indians at the Attorney General's office and what state attorney general's office he claimed to be from.  Of course he hung up.

Then I spoke to the attorney from the law firm who said they had received about 100 complaints from people who had been called by the scammer claiming to be from their firm.  They filed a complaint with the police and have presented their case to the Consumer Protection Bureau.

While a little digging allowed me to get enough information to my client that she wasn't fearful of being dragged off the street for "check fraud", she still lost about $500.00 and has given out information that can be used by others for even more nefarious purposes.

The law firm in Tennessee suggested filing complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at(855) 411-2372. Please beware.

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