Updated: November 24, 2015
Originally posted: October 26, 2012
Also Doing Business As:
- Advance America
- Advance America Payday Loans
The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) has received reports of apparent scams conducted by people claiming to represent Advance America, Cash America, Cash Advance America, and Advance America Payday Loans.
Numerous consumers received phone calls from people claiming to represent Cash Advance America, Cash America, and Advance America Payday Loans where the callers offered loans in exchange for upfront fees. Although several consumers never applied for a payday loan, the callers insisted that they were calling to discuss the consumers’ online payday loan applications. One consumer reported that, when she refused to wire money to the caller, the caller threatened legal action against her. Several other consumers paid the upfront fee, but did not receive the loan promised. At least one consumer also received a similar loan offer via e-mail.
Additionally, several consumers were contacted by people claiming that they were collecting a debt owed to Cash Advance America. One consumer reported receiving multiple harassing phone calls. The caller claimed that the consumer owed debt for a 2007 payday loan, but refused to provide any other details about the debt. The consumer reports that he did not take out any payday loans in 2007. In another case, a consumer received a text message demanding payment. That consumer reported that he’s never had a loan.
These apparent scams are associated with the following contact information:
Cash Advance America, Cash America, and Advance America Payday Loans are not licensed by Washington State of Department of Financial Institutions to provide loans. They are also not licensed to do business in Washington State.
There is a company doing business as Advance America that is licensed by DFI to provide small loans. However, this licensed company is not related to the apparent scams described above.
DFI strongly recommends that consumers deal only with those lenders that are properly licensed to conduct business. Consumers can determine whether lenders are properly licensed using the “Verify a License” feature on the DFI’s website at www.dfi.wa.gov/consumers/findcompany.htm.
Payday Loan Debt Collection Laws
Collection activities are subject to the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Therefore, if you have questions regarding debt collection laws please contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC HELP, or online at www.ftc.gov.
Debt collectors cannot state or imply that failure to pay a debt is a crime. They cannot call before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. They cannot harass or abuse consumers, or contact consumers' places of employment.
Washington State residents, if you are suspicious of unlicensed activity by a payday lender please contact the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions at 1-877-RING-DFI (746-4334), or online at www.dfi.wa.gov.
If you live in another state, find your state regulator.
If you feel you have been the victim of a loan scam please contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357) or online at www.ftc.gov; or contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (855) 411-CFPB or online at www.consumerfinance.gov. Because the scammers have access to bank account information and social security numbers, victims should consider themselves victims of identity theft and take appropriate precautions. The Federal Trade Commission has information for victims of identity theft available online at www.ftc.gov.
If you feel you have been the victim of a loan scam involving the Internet please contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center online at www.ic3.gov.
If you feel you have been the victim of a loan scam and are concerned about your personal financial information, contact your banking institution, and the three major credit bureaus.