Consumer Alerts - 2013

  • 12/30/13 – Unlicensed Credit Union - Municipal Trust Credit Union
    The Department of Business Oversight has been notified that Municipal Trust Credit Union, using the telephone number (800) 976-5530, is offering credit union services and is falsely representing itself to be a credit union. It has advertised in various newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times, The Denver Post, and the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Municipal Trust Credit Union is not licensed by the federal government or by any state, and it is not affiliated with any licensed credit union. Licensed credit unions, unlike unlicensed operators, carry insurance to protect depositors from loss and are subject to regular examinations for compliance with state law by the Department of Business Oversight.
  • 12/30/13 – Possible Loan Fraud – Credit Union
    The Department of Business Oversight has been notified of possible fraudulent activity by a person who purports to represent a credit union. The activity is conducted in the following manner: An individual receives a phone call from a person who states he is calling from First Financial or from First Financial Credit Union.  (First Financial is not licensed by the Department of Business Oversight and is not affiliated with First Financial Credit Union, a lawfully operating credit union located in West Covina, California.)  The individual is told that he or she has been pre-qualified for a loan for a given amount of money, but before the funds could be released to the individual, a several hundred dollar processing fee must be paid.  Sometime after the individual pays the fee, he or she is told that a freeze has been placed on the funds by a governmental agency, and in order to clear the account, another fee of several hundred dollars would need to be paid. No funds are ever delivered to the individual.  The telephone number that has been used by the perpetrator of the activity was (415) 323-0253; however, that number is no longer in service.  The perpetrator may be using different telephone numbers and business names.  Consumers are advised to check http://www.dbo.ca.gov/Licensees/default.asp, http://researchcu.ncua.gov/Views/FindCreditUnions.aspx  or http://www2.fdic.gov/idasp/main.asp to ensure that the financial institution is licensed.
  • 1217/13 – Hoffman Credit Bureau aka Hoffman Lending Bureau; hoffmanbureau.net
    The Department of Business Oversight has been notified that Hoffman Credit Bureau aka Hoffman Lending Bureau, with a website address of www.hoffmanbureau.net, is unlawfully offering loans to California consumers. This company lists its telephone number as 1-800-360-1750, and its address as 300 Capitol Mall, Suite 1100, Sacramento, California. The Department has been unable to locate any such business at this address. Neither Hoffman Credit Bureau nor Hoffman Lending Bureau is licensed by the Department to engage in the business of making loans in the State of California. The Department advises consumers that using a licensed finance lender affords protections under state law related to disclosures, fees and provides recourse should there be a dispute with the finance lender. California consumers should contact the Department of Business Oversight to check the licensing of companies, investments or other financial services they are considering by visiting the financial services licensee listing or calling the Department's toll-free Consumer Services Office at 1-866-275-2677.
  • 12/11/13 - All Net Escrow
    The Department of Business Oversight was notified that a company named All Net Escrow is offering escrow services without a license.
    California owners of timeshares in Mexico received calls from persons claiming to have located buyers for those timeshares. The owners were then told they need to transfer funds to a bank account in Mexico to finalize the transaction. Company names associated with the calls include Morgan Financial International, HTX, and Castle Wealth Management. All Net Escrow is not licensed to conduct escrow activity by the Department of Business Oversight. The Department advises consumers that using a licensed escrow company affords protections under state law related to disclosures, fees and protection of funds, and provides recourse should there be a dispute with the escrow company.
  • 8/23/13 – NetPDL; NetPDL.com
    The California Department of Business Oversight (DBO) has received complaints against NetPDL and NetPDL.com. It appears that NetPDL with a website address of NetPDL.com may be illegally offering online payday loans to California consumers. This company has been associated with the following website and telephone numbers: NetPDL.com; 1-888-203-0106. California consumers are advised that NetPDL and NetPDL.com is not licensed by the Department of Business Oversight to engage in offering or originating consumer loans or payday loans.  The Department of Business Oversight encourages consumers to verify the licensing status of companies prior to transacting business. California consumers should contact the Department of Business Oversight to check on the licensing of companies, investments or other financial services they are considering by visiting the financial services licensee listing or calling the Department's toll-free Consumer Services Office at 1-866-275-2677.
  • 08/13/13 – EZ CASH, ezpaydaycash.net, Stephen Rogers, Roger Stephens and other individuals
    The California Department of Business Oversight (DBO) has been notified that a company calling themselves EZ Cash, with the website ezpaydaycash.net, purports to hold a California license “CTICC License # CACL/063/08/09” and to be “an internet money lender licensed and operating pursuant to CACL 63-8-9 et. Seq.”  EZ Cash is not licensed with the California Department of Business Oversight.  The Department of Business Oversight encourages consumers to check the licensing status of companies prior to transacting business.  California consumers should contact the Department of Business Oversight to check on the licensing of companies, investments or other financial services they are considering by visiting the financial services licensee listing or calling the Department's toll-free Consumer Services Office at 1-866-275-2677. 
  • 08/13/13 - Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana d/b/a Mobiloans
    The California Department of Business Oversight (DBO) has received complaints against Mobiloans.  It appears that this entity is offering payday loan services within the State of California.  The California Department of Business Oversight normally licenses and regulates  “Payday Lenders” doing business in California under the California Deferred Deposit Transaction Law  (http://www.dbo.ca.gov/Laws/Payday_Lenders/).  But due to the fact that Mobiloans claims to be wholly owned by the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, the entity asserts that it is not subject to regulation by the California Department of Business Oversight and that only the United States Government has jurisdiction over federally recognized Indian Tribes and their business activities.  Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana is not licensed to conduct business in the state of California.  Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana d/b/a Mobiloans operates a website at www.mobiloans.com and lists its phone number as (877) 836-1519. The address that has been associated with this entity is: Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana d/b/a Mobiloans, 151 Melacon Rd, Marksville, LA 71351.  We recommend that complaints against Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana d/b/a Mobiloans be directed to: The Federal Trade Commission (https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/), and the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB - http://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/)
  • 08/06/13 – Cash Express Loan
    The Department of Business Oversight issues a warning notice regarding Cash Express Loan.  An entity calling itself “Cash Express Loan” may be offering consumer loans and/or deferred deposit transactions (also known as “payday loans”) in California without any license issued by the Commissioner of Business Oversight in violation of the California Finance Lender Law and/or the California Deferred Deposit Transaction Law.  Cash Express Loan purports to provide the following telephone number and email address: +1 872-588-4199 and support@cashexpressprocess.com, but no website or physical address. In or about May 2013, this entity contacted at least one California consumer offering a $2,500 loan conditioned upon payment of an upfront $280 fee, which was to be paid by purchasing a Vanilla Reload Network card, a type of stored-value card.  After “loading” the funds onto the card, the California consumer was instructed to give the pin number of the card to the entity, which then withdrew $280 from the card.  However, after paying the $280 upfront fee, the California consumer never received any loan funds, and repeated calls and emails to the entity have gone unanswered.  California consumers are advised that this entity is not licensed by the Department of Business Oversight to engage in offering or originating consumer loans or payday loans.  All persons who have communicated with the above-mentioned entity are asked to contact the Department of Business Oversight, Los Angeles, California at (213) 576-7594.
  • 08/06/13 – The Department of Business Oversight issues a warning notice regarding Cash Express Loan Please click here for more information. 
  • 07/18/13 - FDS-Inc.net
    The Department of Business Oversight has been notified that fds-inc.net is offering escrow services over the Internet and is falsely advertising that it is Funds Disbursement Services, Inc., license number 963-2324, a valid escrow company regulated by the Department of Business Oversight. Fds-inc.net is not a website of Funds Disbursement Services, Inc. and is not licensed to conduct escrows by the Department of Business Oversight.