This is a security warning to customers who have been taken advantage of by fake companies who claim they are title loan firms. WE are real. SOME are not.
Here is how this scam works:
Scam groups, usually out of this country, look at the BBB, Consumer Affairs, Consumer Reviews, Yelp, ect. and look for the companies that seem popular. Then they find out as many things as they can about that company by going thru the process themselves, thus making them sound VERY legitimate. They will then buy lists from lead providers, usually payday loan lead providers but it could be any they think people are looking for a title loan and call.
The call starts out with telling you that you are approved for a loan. They will say they need information… and start gathering as much as they can. Most of the time they will ask for your bank info to “deposit money into your account” or they will tell you that you need to pay an “origination fee” upfront by sending money to them and give you their information. They will even refer you to the companies website to “prove who they are” but in fact it’s not their website at all. Real companies will disclose if this is their site or an affiliate of theirs.
After you do this, they steal money from your account or you would have sent them money and then they never fund you because they were never a title loan company in the first place!
This new scam is being played out not just in the title loan industry but also the banking and credit union industry. So it’s not just about title loan companies.
TO BE CLEAR: A legitimate title loan company will NEVER EVER ask you to pay anything to them to get a loan…ever. If they did and you had money taken from you act right now!
What to do RIGHT NOW:
- First, call your bank and freeze or close your account. If possible, dispute the money pulled with the bank.
- Try and recall what you told them and call the credit bureau and put a security warning on your listing. To do that, click this link for a security freeze. You need to do this with all three credit bureaus and the link we provided was JUST for Experian, but there is also TransUnion and Equifax.
- Report this to your LOCAL police.
What to do after your panic level cools down:
You want to report this to the FCC and the FBI. When we did this, we found after speaking to an agent at both that they usually do not act on the info at first. They wait till several people have been affected and then they pounce. So don’t expect anything more than an email saying they got your tip on the crime.
How to you get your money back:
If this is a legitimate company, they have a license or at the very least a federal tax ID. So if it is a legit company, then you are dealing with a normal process of telling them you want your money back and if you can prove they scammed you, sue them in civil court. A legitimate company would have had you sign a Docusign or a contract so don’t confuse them with the scammers.
If this is NOT a legitimate company, your recourse is limited. Your bank MAY, but is not obligated to, give you the money back. Most of the time, you are simply out this money.
What you can do in the future to prove the company you are dealing with is real, honest and normal.
This sounds hard but actually it’s very easy with today’s technology. Have an iphone? Can you Facetime? See if they can and actually see the person you are talking to and their office.
Ask them to take a picture of their license. Licensed companies are REQUIRED to put their license by their front door in normal view. A simple text picture will validate this for you. Again, scammers don’t have this.
Ask them to take a pic of the outside their office. Again visual proof.
Tell them that you will call them back from the phone number on the website, NOT the number they provided you in the call. Scammers do not waste time building websites… at least yet. Also if a scammer builds a site that uses the name of the title loan company, they title loan company knows about this and usually is handling it legally to get it forced down. So the real ones stay. You can go to the wayback machine and see how old the site is. If it is brand new, I would avoid that company. Ours is over 7 1/2 years old. The older the site, the older the company, the less change they are a scam.
What to do if your are in a loan with a real car title loan company and feel that you are being gouged:
When you needed money, any offer seemed good but later when you noticed that you could not get out of that loan because of the interest rate, you are now furious. We get it.
So the solution to this is actually easy. Refinance that loan with a lower rate company. I have to disclose to you that you are a little one sided on this thought because we deal with so many lenders in so many areas and we can take a loan from one company and typically get it refinanced at a lower payments and rate then the one you have right now… so in many markets we can do this. Just know we have a reason why we suggest you go to us.
But if you don’t want to go thru us, you can do it yourself however if you were duped one time, you might get duped again and they can’t dupe us. We have gotten THOUSANDS of people their money through car title loan lenders who actually are real, honest and care about retaining their customers.