BBB Warns of Internet Loan Scam
August 20, 2010 Southfield, MI- The Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula has received several complaints over the last few days from people across the country inquiring about a company identified as BENCHMARK FOUNDATION, allegedly located in Hartland, Michigan, and doing business online. Consumers are informing the BBB that they apply online then receive an approval notification for a secured loan anywhere from a few thousand dollars to $30,000.00. They are then asked to wire a down payment to Ontario, Canada in order to cover the first few monthly loan payments. Consumers complain that they are unable to contact BENCHMARK FOUNDATION after they have wired the money.The Michigan Office of Financial & Insurance Services has informed the BBB that BENCHMARK Foundation is not an active Michigan corporation and that it does not have a valid license to provide lending and financial services in Michigan. The address provided is reportedly non-existent and the BBB report is being revised to reflect the BBB’s current investigation.
Recent BBB investigations reveal an increase in bogus loan brokers who are impersonating legitimate lenders. They make illegal use of the names, logos and/or addresses of reputable financial institutions or organizations that have no affiliation or connection with the fraudulent operation.
Signs that the “Lender” is a Scammer
- Pressures you to act immediately.
- “Guaranteed” loans, even if you have bad credit, no credit or a bankruptcy.
- Refuses to provide its street address location.
- Demands that you wire or send money before you have a loan offer confirmed in writing.
- Written communications contain typos and grammatical errors.
- When you telephone, no one is ever “in”; your calls are not returned, or the voicemail box is always “full.”