Warning from Better Business Bureau about bogus loan company

Intrest Plus Financial is a fraud

(Published Jan. 22, 2007, 10:38 a.m.)

The Wisconsin Better Business Bureau (BBB) is issuing a nationwide alert regarding a company that alleges to be located in Milwaukee and has scammed consumers out of more than $15,000.

The Wisconsin BBB has received six complaints in less than a week against an online loan company called Intrest Plus Financial (please note: the spelling of the word "interest" is correct and not a typo). These complaints allege that Intrest Plus Financial approved a loan for the applicants, but required a "collateral payment" be wired to a Canadian address via MoneyGram.

In some cases, applicants were coerced into sending a second payment after being told that their loans had been "reassessed." None of the complainants have received their loans. Amounts lost range from $1,570 to $3,760. Victims have come from Colorado, Illinois, North Carolina, California and Nevada. All of the complainants applied for their loans online.

Interest Plus Financial is using an address of 1208 W. Layton Avenue, Suite 213, Milwaukee. That address is home to a legitimate company, which is not affiliated with this scam. In addition, Intrest Plus Financial is not licensed in the state of Wisconsin, according to the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions.

The Wisconsin BBB, which recently named advanced fee loans as the state's worst scam in 2006, offers the following points to keep in mind before you respond to ads that promise easy credit, regardless of your credit history:

- Legitimate lenders never "guarantee" or say that you are likely to get a loan or a credit card before you apply, especially if you have bad credit, no credit or a bankruptcy.

- Be wary of searching the Internet using such terms as "bad credit loans," which may lead you to fraudulent Web sites. Look for the BBB's online reliability seal, which can help you weed out the good Web sites from the bad ones.

- If you apply for a real estate loan, it is accepted and common practice for lenders to request payment for a credit report or appraisal. However, legitimate lenders never ask you to pay for processing your application or for a "collateral" payment.

- Never give your credit card account number, bank account information or Social Security number over the telephone or Internet unless you are familiar with the company and know why the information is necessary.

- If you don't have the offer in hand, or confirmed in writing, and you are asked to pay, don't do it. It's fraud and it's against the law.

For more information or further inquiries, call the BBB at (414) 847-60O0 in metro Milwaukee, (920) 734-4352 (in Appleton) or (800) 273-1002 elsewhere in Wisconsin.



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