The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) has warned consumers to check the license the lender before taking a loan or providing any personal information.
A consumer reported that a lender asked her to make an advance payment to get a loan. When she paid the fee, the lender asked her to pay additional fees. This cycle continued until she had paid thousands of dollars. Eventually, she did not receive the loan that was promised or a refund.
Deal only with licensed lenders
The DFI strongly recommends that consumers should deal only with licensed lenders. Residents of Washington State can verify the license of a lender at www.dfi.wa.gov.
How to report a loan scam
If you are a resident of Washington State, you can report a loan scam at 1-877-RING DFI (746-4334) or at www.dfi.wa.gov. If you are a resident of another state, you can follow this link to find your state’s regulator:
You can contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or at www.ftc.gov. You can also contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) at (855) 411-CFPB (2372) or at www.consumerfinance.gov.
To report a loan scam that involves the Internet, you can contact the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.
If you have provided personal information to scammers, you need to take suitable precautions. You can find out more about identity theft at www.ftc.gov.
If you are the victim of a loan scam and are worried about your personal financial details being misused, you need to contact the three main credit bureaus as well as your bank.