Industry News

State warns of advance-fee loan scam

Ads promote mortgages, fail to identify broker number

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State officials are warning Ohio residents to use caution with newspaper advertisements that promote the availability of loans but do not identify the name of the company or its mortgage broker registration number. Ads recently have appeared in the Lorain Morning Journal and other papers promoting the availability of first and second mortgage loans, car loans and debt consolidation for persons with "bad credit and bankruptcy," the Ohio Department of Commerce's Division of Financial Institutions said this week. The ads provide only a toll-free telephone number, and promise "no upfront fees and fast results." According to the Ohio agency, the toll-free number tracks back to Canada. In a typical advance-fee loan scam, phony businesses place classified ads to lure people who are having difficulty finding a loan due to past credit problems. The ads typically urge the consumer to contact the business at a toll-free long distance telephone number in another state or in Canada. After...