Better Business Bureau of Eastern North Carolina (www.bbb.org) is warning consumers about Milliken Lending Group, a loan service company claiming to be based in Raleigh.
Victims nationwide received phone calls stating they were approved for a loan in the amount of $5,000.00, but in order to receive the loan they were required to pre-pay five monthly payments.
One consumer was promised the loan via direct deposit the next day if their advance payment was wired. After wiring the money, the consumer did not receive loan funds as promised, but did get a call from Milliken Lending Group contact, Sean Bently. Bently requested five more payments before Milliken Lending Group could release the loan. After the consumer demanded a refund, they were told the money could not be returned until it was verified by their agent, but to expect a refund within ten days. This victim has not been reimbursed, and when they attempted to contact Milliken Lending Group and looked up the website, it was gone.
There is no record of Milliken Lending Group with the Wake County Register of Deeds Assumed Name Directory and they are not licensed with the North Carolina Commissioner of Banks.
BBB sent mail to this company in an attempt to develop a report, but the mail was returned, marked "no such number unable to forward.” Physical inspection of the 251 North Harrington Street Raleigh NC address shows it to be a business parking lot with no business structures.
Many consumer experiences reported to BBB regarding advanced-fee loans follow the same trends. Companies use bogus local addresses, fees are usually wired to Canada and consumers are out of hundreds of dollars. Complainants may wish to report their experiences to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police PhoneBusters, The Canadian Anti-Fraud Call Centre by phone at 1-888-495-8501 or by fax at 1-888-654-9426, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Better Business Bureau offers these tips for spotting an advance fee loan scam:
- Pressure to act immediately. Advance fee loan scammers will try to get you to send money or give out personal information before you get any paperwork. Insist on receiving the necessary paperwork before deciding whether or not to apply for credit.
- Lenders not interested in your credit history. Lenders who don't care about your credit record should be cause for concern. Ads that downplay bad credit and ads promising "fast money" or "guaranteed approval" often indicate a scam.
- A loan that is offered by phone. According to the FTC, it is illegal for companies doing business in the U.S. by phone to promise a loan or ask you to pay for it before they deliver.