Advanced Fee Loan Company Using Local Address to Scam Consumers

October 24, 2012

October 24, 2012, Charleston, WV - The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has been receiving numerous phone calls from consumers in West Virginia concerning Norwood Lending Agency. The company claims to be a financial institution offering "guaranteed" loans regardless of credit history. A BBB investigation revealed that Norwood Lending is operating an advanced fee loan operation charging consumers an upfront fee in order to obtain a loan, and asks that the funds be wired via Western Union to Jamaica.

Consumers should understand that this company offers advance fee loans which are illegal in the U.S. and Canada. Anytime a company asks for money up front, even if they provide a check to pay the fee, it is illegal.

A BBB investigation further revealed that Norwood Lending Agency does not reside at the Morgantown WV office they list, but is actually located in Canada. The phone number used by the company with a 304 area code was “spoofed” using voice-over Internet Protocol technology to make the caller appear to be calling locally.

On October 4, 2012, Attorney General Darrell McGraw announced that his office successfully shut down a Norwood Lending Agency’s website. Investigators at the Consumer Protection Division located the owner of Norwood’s domain registrar, which cooperated with McGraw’s office to completely shut down the fraudulent website.

To further protect yourself against these types of scams the BBB offers the following tips:

  • You should never have to pay fees in advance before receiving any type of loan.
  • Consumers should be leery if they are asked to wire transfer funds to any company especially to a location outside of the United States.
  • Never wire money to anyone with whom you are not familiar.
  • Never provide anyone with personal information such as bank accounts, pin numbers or Social Security numbers.

# # #