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Better Business Bureau ®
Start With Trust®
Eastern Washington, North Idaho and Montana
Advance Fee Loan Scam and Traveling Pavers Operating in MT
June 24, 2008

ADVANCE FEE LOAN COMPANY TARGETING BOZEMAN, MT:

NAPERVILLE FINANCIAL PLANNING AND LENDING

NAPERVILLE FINANCIAL PLANNING AND LENDING
2001-4320 Winfield Rd.
Warrenville, IL 60555
(888) 235-4964
www.naperville-financialgrp.com

A Bozeman, MT woman was contacted by this cross-border advance fee loan scam listed above. Here is how her scenario went:

I was contacted by a gentleman on June 10th, 2008 stating that I had been approved for a $5000.00 loan and all I needed to do was send in the first five payments for insurance as my credit is not that great.

It sounded legit to me and after several more calls with this person I decided that I would try it. So I sent $785.00 on 6-14-08 via money gram (wire transfer) and he told me that the money would be put into my account by the next morning.

The money did not arrive so I called them and he said he messed up and I needed to send another $500.00 so I foolishly came up with that and sent it and still have not received anything. I had checks bounce due to them not coming through with their promise. I even told him that it was so important as the money I had sent them was for my house and car payment.

The BBB Serving Napervillle has received 5 complaints in the past 4 days from victims having sent anywhere from over $700 to $3,000 in advance fees via wire transfer to Ontario, Canada.

BBB TIPS

It is illegal for a company to charge you an upfront fee to secure a loan, and wiring upfront fees for loans out of the country is considered a HUGE red flag. If you have fallen victim to this group, you are more than likely not going to see any of your monies back. Once you wire money out of the country for such a pitch, you are at 100% risk. We strongly urge you to file formal complaints with the BBB as well as your state Attorney General’s Office and the FBI at: www.ic3.gov

Jennings Asphalt aka Asphalt Sealcoating and Paving

Doing Jobs in Billings, MT, Misusing Local Business Address

On June 23, 2008, BBB began to receive inquiries about a company going door-to-door offering paving using “leftover materials” from previous jobs. The company rep’s name is Andrew Jennings with a cell# of 571-330-2746.

This company is misrepresenting where its company is located and states to customers that it is located at 325 S. Billings Blvd., Billings, MT, which is the location for Trailer Village. The BBB contacted Trailer Village to see what they were aware of, and Trailer Village states that they are getting calls from this company’s customers, yet they have nothing to do with these pavers, and in fact, demanded that they leave their premises on May 11, 2008.

The company rep is driving a red Chevy pickup with a MT license plate of: 3C 2600F. The company is advertising a number of: 866-301-4634—which when placed in the BBB national database takes you to two separate reports for the company, one located in Fort Worth, TX and one in Wisconsin. Both reports are unsatisfactory with the BBB due to unanswered complaints.

For full reports, go to: www.bbb.org and search using the 866#.

BBB ADVICE

Doing business with such groups diverts otherwise healthy dollars from your reputable local businesses! We encourage people to file formal complaints with BBB, the MT. Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Division, and to call their local police department to report them if they are approached or encounter this group. These groups usually go from city to city, region to region, thus the name “traveling pavers” in order to avoid any accountability regarding the sub-standard work they perform.

They are not registered with the Secretary of State to conduct business in MT-----And Montana Labor and Industries states that they are not registered with them, either, which is required if a contractor offers such services in MT.

BBB TIPS ON PAVING/ASPHALT SERVICES

The BBB warns homeowners to do their homework before hiring a reputable and legitimate paving company. Itinerant asphalt/paving dealers can always be active in the area, especially during the spring and summer.

Be aware of paving companies that approach your home, stating that they are "in the area" and have extra asphalt or concrete to repair your driveway for a minimal cost. Many times the company will quote a low price for their work and upon completion overcharge the customer. The BBB also notes that contracts are not always provided prior to the work being performed and that many jobs are poorly done and incomplete.

BBB has also experienced that less than scrupulous pavers/asphalt/seal coat groups will sometimes intimidate or threaten those clients that tell them they are filing a complaint or are not happy with their services. If you feel that you are being harassed or threatened in any way by such questionable groups, we strongly urge you to contact your local law enforcement ASAP to report it.

The BBB advises consumers to research all options thoroughly and not be pressured into signing a contract or agreement before all terms and conditions are clearly understood.

To find a reputable paving company BBB suggests:

* Contact BBB for a reliability report on any company you are considering doing business with by visiting our website at www.bbb.org or by calling our 24-hour information line at (509) 455-4200 or (800) 356-1007.

* Ask for local references and verify that the contractor is in compliance, current and up-to-date with all local licensing, bonding and insuring requirements. If you do not take this step, you are at 100% risk with the transaction.

* Ask for identification and note the license plate number on the contractor's vehicle.

* Solicit two or three different bids for the work you are planning, but don't automatically accept the lowest.

* Make sure all bids are based on the same materials.

* Be sure to read all agreements and guarantees before signing.

* Do not be pressured into signing an agreement before you understand all terms and conditions.

* Never sign a contract with sections left blank.

*When you choose a paving contractor, do not pay for the work in advance. Pay by check when the work is completed to your satisfaction.

To aid in your search for a reputable paving company, BBB Serving Eastern Washington, North Idaho & Montana offers its website: www.bbb.org providing reliability reports, online publications, consumer tips, accredited business roster, and a host of other educational materials for your benefit. You may also call our 24-hr information line at (509) 455-4200 or (800) 356-1007.