The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) warns consumers to verify the license of any escrow agent with whom they consider doing business.
DFI received a complaint from a consumer who alleged he was defrauded by three companies in a transaction for the sale of the consumer’s timeshare in Mexico. "Alliance Development, LLC" (claiming to be located in Nashville, TN) offered to purchase the property. "Property 1 Commercial" or "Property One Commercial" (claiming to be located in Albuquerque, NM) offered to assist in the closing of the sale. "Blumer & Chase Financial" (claiming to be located in Lacey, WA) offered to serve as an escrow agent in the transaction.
The entities referenced above did not complete the sale as promised, but instead collected fraudulent fees from the consumer. "Blumer & Chase Financial" is not licensed by DFI to conduct the business of an escrow agent. A company with the same name formerly performed investment services but is no longer a going concern. The owner of the legitimate former company denied any involvement in the fraudulent transaction, and parties unrelated to the company may have misappropriated its name in order to provide cover for their fraudulent activities.
DFI strongly recommends that consumers deal only with those escrow agents that are properly licensed to conduct business. You can verify a license with DFI at www.dfi.wa.gov or by calling 1.877.RING DFI (746-4334).
If you feel you are in immediate danger contact local law enforcement.
If you are suspicious of unlicensed activity by a consumer lender, money transmitter, or escrow agent; contact the Department at 1-877-RING-DFI (746-4334), or online at www.dfi.wa.gov.
If you feel you have been the victim of a loan scam, contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357), or online at www.ftc.gov.
If you feel you have been the victim of a loan scam involving the Internet, contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.