Fourteen people from across the United States have fallen prey to an advance fee loan company called “Access Financial Services”. The company is using a Colorado Springs address to appear legitimate, however, there is no such company at the Briargate Boulevard address. The BBB has received complaints from Mississippi, North Carolina, New York, West Virginia, Minnesota, California, Tennessee, Florida and New Jersey. The victims in question have lost over $16,500 to this scam.
Advertisements placed in local papers lured consumers into this scam. After being “approved” the loan recipients were informed that they needed to pay a “loan premium” or a “loan default/collateral payment" in advance. These payments varied from $600 to over $2900, depending on the amount of the loan requested. The monies were to be wired to a private citizen in Canada.
Although the paperwork states that the loan premium is refundable after 14 days no one has received their monies back. When Access Financial is contacted about refunds callers find themselves being given the runaround or hung up on repeatedly.
Victims of Access Financial Services also face the specter of identity theft as the company has their name, social security number, driver’s license information, and bank account numbers.
Tracking and prosecution is difficult because the scam is being operated out of Canada. The BBB is in contact with the Web site provider in attempts to get the firm’s Web site taken down. The Canadian police agency “Phonebusters” has been notified of this company as well.
The BBB reminds persons seeking loans of the following:
According to the Federal Trade Commission Telemarketing Sales Rule, if someone guarantees or suggests that there is a strong chance they can get or arrange a loan or other form of credit for you, it's against the law to ask you to pay - or accept payment - for their services until you get your loan or credit.
Never give your credit card account number, bank account information, or Social Security number over the telephone or Internet unless you are familiar with the company and know why the information is necessary.
Legitimate lenders will never "guarantee" or say that you are likely to get a loan or a credit card before you apply, especially if you have bad credit, no credit, or a bankruptcy.
Do your homework before sending money or information to any company. Contact the BBB to check on any financial offers you receive at bbb.org.