Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) is receiving reports from around the country about unsolicited faxes business owners are receiving. The faxes, sent by Key Funding – which purports to operate out of Bloomington, Minnesota – claim that business owners have been “pre-approved for a capital infusion of $48,862.04 with underwriting authorization of up to $250,000.” BBB advises business owners to discard such faxes, as nothing about the company – or this offer – adds up. Instead, it has all the hallmarks of an advance fee loan scheme.
“Though this offer might seem like a life preserver to a struggling business, we believe it’s an anchor,” said Dana Badgerow, president and CEO of BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota. “BBB’s experience with these types of offers is that after business owners – and consumers, whom schemes like this also target – wire advance fees to lenders, the lenders either request more money or cease contact, leaving victims without a loan and only more debt.”
Key Funding was brought to the attention of BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota by BBB of Akron (OH), after a business owner in that region had received the fax from Key Funding. BBB of Western Michigan was also alerted to this fax and performed some research which revealed that Key Funding is not located at the address they are claiming in Bloomington. Building management confirmed there is no business with that name operating at that address.
“This is not how ethical companies operate,” added Badgerow. “Legitimate lenders will never guarantee a loan before you apply or before they’ve checked your credit status as well as your references.”
To avoid advance fee loan schemes, businesses should:
If you live in the U.S. and think you’ve been a victim of an advance fee loan scam, report it to the FTC online at ftc.gov or by phone, toll-free, at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).