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Better Business Bureau ®
Start With Trust®
Northeast Florida & The Southeast Atlantic
Advance Fee Loan Scam Using Jacksonville Address
November 10, 2010

Two websites use bogus Jacksonville addresses to defraud consumers in multiple areas.

November 10, 2010-Jacksonville, Fl. BBB serving Northeast Florida and the Southeast Atlantic has become aware of two websites listing addresses in Jacksonville, Fla. Both of the sites offer personal loans to individuals, subject to an upfront “security deposit”, that must be wired to an individual in Canada. BBB believes that consumers who fall for this will lose the deposit they wired and will never receive any type of loan.

The two sites, www.brightstargroup.org and www.hollanderfinancial.org were both registered with OnlineNIC, Inc. on October 28, 2010 within 15 minutes of each other. Calls to the toll free numbers listed on the sites were answered by the same voice mail system. IP address tracing shows us that both websites are hosted on the same server in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia. Both websites list addresses in Jacksonville that are incomplete, assuring that mail cannot be delivered. For example, Brightstar lists their address as 1 Independent Dr, Jacksonville, Fl. 32202. The problem is that 1 Independent Dr is a 30 story office building with hundreds of suites. No mail could be delivered without the suite number. The same is true for the Hollander address. The fax numbers listed on the site are most likely internet phones that were purchased with 904 area codes.

A consumer in Ohio wired $820 to an individual in Toronto, Canada. He was contacted the next morning and asked to send another $820 “for security purposes because of his credit history”. He declined and called BBB instead. This is just on of many calls and inquiries BBB has received in the last 5 days. Fortunately many of the consumers contacted BBB before falling victim.

An unfortunate twist to this incident is that a real Brightstar Financial exists at a completely different address and telephone number in Jacksonville and a Hollander Financial exists in Claremont, CA. Both companies are receiving multiple telephone calls and run the risk of having their good names besmirched by this scam. BBB has talked to both of the legitimate companies and is certain they have no relationship with these two sites.

For further information contact Tom Stephens at 904-721-2288 ext 313.