WEST SACRAMENTO, CALIF – Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning American and Canadian consumers to be on the lookout for telephone callers soliciting them with loan offers that require payment of advance fees. Consumers are being contacted by one of four different, ‘F’ rated, finance lending companies who are all advertising Sacramento addresses: Feinberg Lending Group, Sertain Secure Financial Services, Procure Monetary Group, and Renford & Associates.
“Scammers will promise you almost anything - loans, sweepstakes winnings, government grants, all in exchange for an upfront payment. They will offer any number of justifications for the payments, whatever it takes to get the victim to wire money,” said Lynn Conner, President & CEO of Better Business Bureau serving Northeast California. “Once paid, the scammer disappears and the money they were promised is never delivered,” she added.
BBB reviewed copies of contracts from Feinberg Lending Group and Renford & Associates; they contain clauses requiring consumers to make “collateral payments” totaling either $450 or $675. Once paid, typically via wire transfer, consumers say they contact their representative only to be told they need to pay additional fees. One consumer reported paying four separate fees for a loan. Another paid over $6,000. None of the complainants received the loans they were promised.
All four companies advertise a different Sacramento address. However, BBB has been unable to confirm that these addresses are legitimate. Neither company has registered a Fictitious Business Name in Sacramento county. Leasing companies contacted by BBB have reported the addresses to be vacant or, in one case, the agent suggested the address might be for a residential apartment complex across the street from his building.
The four companies each advertised with their own websites, all four of which were registered with the same Canadian web hosting service and created within the last six months. On July 21, 2017 BBB reviewed the websites and found that they were deactivated. When contacted, the web hosting service informed us that the websites were owned by the same account which also owned a number of other domain names. They also explained that the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre alerted them to fraudulent activity associated with the websites and, therefore, the account was cancelled.
Tips to Avoid an Advance Fee Loan Scam: