Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

Consumer Alert

"Washington Financial" – Not Located in Washington, No Affiliation with Washington Financial Group, Inc.

May 11, 2006

A company calling itself “Washington Financial” advertises in local newspapers around the country claiming to provide personal and business loans, credit referrals, credit restructuring, and debt consolidation loans. Prior to approving the loan, the company asks for financial information and proof of identification, proof of employment and monthly income, and a social security number. The company also asks for a substantial fee in advance of disbursing the loan. This appears to be an advance fee loan scam originating in Canada.

Neither the Washington State Department of Revenue nor the Office of the Secretary of State shows a company called "Washington Financial" authorized to do business in Washington State, and the company is not licensed by the Department of Financial Institutions to make loans in Washington. The loan application facsimile lists an address at 956 Spruce Street, Seattle, Washington, 98104. This is an address for a parking lot. "Washington Financial" does not appear to have any physical presence in Washington. Instead, consumers are told to fax documents to a toll-free fax number. The phone number listed with the fax number is a “905” area code (Ontario, Canada). The company requires an upfront "default/security deposit" to disburse the loan and requests consumers to wire money to Toronto, Canada.

"Washington Financial" should NOT be confused with the licensed business of Washington Financial Group, Inc. The questionable "Washington Financial" appears to be trying to confuse itself with the licensed company of Washington Financial Group, Inc., and may be using the licensed Washington Financial Group’s address with an unrelated toll free number.

The name "Martin Ford" appears to be associated with the questionable “Washington Financial.” Consumers may wish to contact Washington Financial Group, Inc., directly to confirm they are dealing with the licensed company. Consumers can contact Kevin Keadle at the licensed Washington Financial Group, Inc. at 206-933-8439.

Victims or anyone else with information may report their experiences to the Better Business Bureau or their state’s Attorney General Office.

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