Loan Aggregators, or Loan Aggravators?

If you’re thinking about applying for an online payday loan, you might be dealing with a direct lender – or you might be dealing with a loan aggregator. A direct lender lends you the money; a loan aggregator is a middleman – a company that collects your personal and financial information on a loan application and shops it around to lenders who might offer you a loan.

Loan aggregators, also called lead generators, sell the information you include on your loan application. They can see, store and sell your name, address, phone number, birth date, Social Security number, bank or credit card account number, and annual income.

That’s right. Some aggregators use keystroke loggers – software that records what you type. So even if you never hit “submit” – even if you fill out the application and then change your mind about applying for the loan – your information may be captured through keystroke logging, and sold or used for dishonest purposes.

Selling personal and financial information is big business, and not everyone who engages in the business is an honest broker. That means just entering your information on the site may come back to haunt you. Some people who buy your information may use it to try to sell you goods and services or charge you for goods and services you didn’t agree to buy. And the FTC says that’s exactly what the company, Ideal Financial, did – to the tune of more than $25 million.

The FTC recently charged Ideal Financial with debiting consumers’ bank and credit card accounts without authorization. To cover its tracks, Ideal Financial lied to consumers that complained, telling them that they bought financial management or counseling products at a payday loan website.

And just where did Ideal Financial get consumers’ bank account information? According to the FTC’s complaint, the source is unknown. However, many people who were caught in the web had applied for payday loads online, a process that required them to give their bank account numbers with the understanding that the loan, if approved, would be deposited directly.  Unapproved charges are enough to arouse anyone’s ire, but by targeting people already in financial trouble, Ideal Financial’s unauthorized debits allegedly caused many cash-strapped victims to incur pricey penalty and overdraft fees.    

The FTC advises you to use caution when sharing personal information online:

  • Make sure you know who is getting your personal or financial information.
  • Don’t give out personal information on the phone, through the mail or over the Internet unless you’ve initiated the contact or know who you’re dealing with.
  • Check your bank statement and credit card bills regularly. Dispute any charges you don’t recognize.
  • If a company that claims to have an account with you sends email asking for personal information, don’t click on links in the email. Instead, type the company name into your web browser, go to their site, and contact them through customer service. Or, call the customer service number listed on your account statement. Ask whether the company really sent a request.
  • If you see an ad or an offer that looks good to you, take a moment to check out the company behind it. Type the company or product name into your favorite search engine with terms like “review,” “complaint,” or “scam.” If you find bad reviews, you’ll have to decide if the offer is worth the risk. If you can’t find contact information for the company, take your business elsewhere.
  • Don’t assume that an ad you see on a reputable site is trustworthy. The fact that a site features an ad for another site doesn’t mean that it endorses the advertised site, or is even familiar with it.
  • Read privacy policies. Yes, they can be long and complex, but they tell you how the site maintains accuracy, access, security, and control of the personal information it collects; how it uses the information, and whether it provides information to third parties. If you don’t see or understand a site’s privacy policy, consider doing business elsewhere.  

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

I thought I was safe as long as I did not give the authorization to actually secure the loan. I was wrong as this points out.

Be very careful when dealing with these pay day loan companys and services. please make shore the company has a reachable address, phone#, and chekable refernces. check with the BBB first. make sure you understand there contract agreement.

I have one right now that is threatning to sue me becasuse they state that I received funds and I am not paying it back. I did look at them on line as well but never received any funds and now they are harrassing me with the threat of a law suit.

i have someone cliam that i owe them money but donot owe them any money pay day advance i donot not know who they are say i am committing a fruad

I think i am a victim of a money fraud. I loaded a prepaid card with funds and gave them the card number and threatened to arrest me at my work. Any advise?

Don't feel bad about a week I face the same exact situation happen to me and I felt real stupid after but once they threaten my job and that I was going to be arrested I panic because at the time I did had some pay day loans. I also loaded a prepaid card with funds from CVS. then I keep getting other calls about more payments that's when I realize it was really a scam. Well I contact my nearest precent filed a report, change all my bank account information contacted the credit bureau reported a fraud scam alert I also call the companies that I had the pay day loans with and reported my situation. thank God all is working out I still received calls with threats now I just tell them I will call the police myself. soon I will also change my cellular number. need a peace of mind but it is very scary... Good luck

THEY IS STILL CALLING ME ABOUT THE MONEY AND I HAVE ALREADY PAID OUT WELL INTO THE 800 RANGE . ALSO THEAT ME WITH ASSREST .

(888) 844-0139 be careful of this number, they are threatning to sue me for a loan I never took out. Their company is called ARG and it stands for "Acts of Recovery" I talked to an "Alex" and he said they don't have an online website, he could only give me his fax number.

I have been getting this same situation. It seems that a lot of these scammers are of middle east decent, named Alex! Or joe, bill Chris.

I have also received this call. when I told them that I had not taken out a loan from this company Alex got very RUDE and threatened me that if I did not pay then someone would be in my driveway by the end of the day to arrest me. That was a couple of weeks ago and I still have not seen anyone here to arrest me. This even sounds like a SCAM when you talk to them on the phone.

Beware of a pre-litigation called Watson Hampton and Associates, they call your phone and the caller id will say (your area code)134-5678, they say they are trying to serve you with legal documents and give you this #1-866-316-3895 to call along with a case number. When you call they verify your name, most likely an old address and your entire or partial SS number, they advise you that you have a very old payday loan you did not pay that they are going to sue you for if you do not pay them. They try to get you to pay their "settlement offer" which is significantly less than you supposedly owe them- this is 100% a verified scam, I verified it with my bank that I never had a payday loan deposited. When I told the company it was false and that I was contacting the FTC and Police they hung up on me and would not answer any of my calls afterward. Very Scary Stuff :(

I fell into their scam, should I call them or him mark stevens, and tell him my report was pulled and qikpayday was only inquired .
I.reported to.ftc and places a fraud alert, what should I.do?
He.knows all my old info banking, etc

Watch out for American Legal Services. They just called me and told me I would be arrested at 11 am tomorrow for wire fraud, even though I never took a loan from US Cash Advance. They are non-English speaking clerks with American-sounding names. They even gave me the arresting officer's name. I called all local police agencies and there is no officer by that name. Scared me a lot.

The same has happened to me. The gentleman who called me stated that his name was Daniel Carter(if that is his name I will eat my hat) Badge #7549. I told him I would call my lawyer. He stated I had until 2pm Seattle, WA time to get back to him. He suppositly worked for Federal Criminal Investigation.I called the payday loan company. It is not a federal issue they told me. So I called him back and he treatened to harasse me at work. I am going to file a complaint.

I had he same call from the same guy today. I found it weird when he gave me my last four digits to my bank acct#. He stated that I had received moneys in my acct and that the moneys had already been taken out and I had not made a payment. I checked my bank and no money had ever been deposited! So I then contacted the sheriffs office and they stated that it sounded like a scam and to disregard the call. This caller was also a middle eastern hard-to-understand accent. I wish they could just catch all these SOB's.
I was still kind of worried about the lawsuit until I just seen his name and also seen posts where others are also having this problem.

OMG!!! How I wish I had read this first before dealing with these ########. OMG! I dealth with three all promising a loan but first I needed to send in the 1st month payment upfront. Then a 2nd payment to cover insurance, then a 3rd payment about an IRS fee to transfer funds over a centain amount into my account. One I waited too long so I had to send a reactivation fee. Payments were sent either by moneygram or greendot moneypak card. Funny thing these ####### still calling me, holding my file waiting on me to continue to send in more money. I have contacted the local police, the Attorney General filing a compliant with them, here the FTC and seeking a lawsuit against them. When ask about my refund if loan does not go through, they have replied no refund. Wrong answer!!

The same thing happen to me about a week ago. I did apply for a payday loan and they asked me to make the first installment before they could put the funds in my bank account. I had to get a Net Spend card from CVS or Wal-Mart. Once they took the money there was another process to get my funds along with the money they initially took. I never went to Western Union to wire them money and I got my money back from the Net Spend card. They are from another country possible the Middle East and they are scam artist and I have reason to believe that they are funding a terrorist group. They money they take from individual cannot be traced once you give them the information from the Net Spend card. Just my opinion, but the company is called America Cash Loans

How did you get your money back from the Net Spend card? Both of my cards are saying they have been redeemed. I wish I had read this. I was just scam by the same company America Fast Cash. They scammed me out of $1000

I feel realy stupid for falling for the same scam by the same company . I should feel lucky to be out of only $200 . A lesson well learned.

This is HORRIBLE! The same thing happened to me with the green dot, money Pak. I felt stupid and angry. How could these idiots- Middle East people continue to get away with this. US Feds should be able to do something to track the calls and find them.

Same thing happened to me.I applied for an online loan and was bombarded with calls saying I was approved for a thousand dollars.they said they needed a good faith payment of 150.00 for the 1st payment then another 225.00 for a tax id number I money grammed them both payments thennnn they wanted another 119.00 to wire funds and that's when I googled the number and found it on 800notes.com. these people from India have hacked into these websites or something.beware of (661)748-0240 and (206)905-9830 total scumbagsi sent them every dollar I had and I told them I literally had 2 dollars in my purse till next Friday to live on and I have four small children.they said 'o can't u borrow the 119.00 from somebody, then u will have alllll that money in ur acct.heartless.

The same thing just happened to me! I must have given them about $1500, my rent money thinking I was to be able to cover it once I received my loan. I doubt if I will be able to get my money back, but I'm going to try. I feel sooooo dumb!!! And.... they all had a middle eastern accent with American names. Well, I do have the phone number I was using with them.

I have been receiving calls from a co - Zenith Financial Group aledging that I owe a pay day loan for which I have no record of accepting. They threaten me that I must settle with them or they will pursue NSF check fraud. They have my daughter's cell phone number for which she just got not even a year ago and have been calling her as well. I know these guys are scammers. I have filed a complaint with the FTC - they use different phone numbers and keep calling me at work - the main number they use: 304-809-0353 - Anthony Ochoa. When I asked them for documentation they said it would cost $200.00!! Scammers!! Not sure how to make them stop calling me.

I received a call at work today from a man with an Indian accent. the number was 916-287-3815 he said i had to call an Attorney. He said that i have criminal charges against me for a pay day loan in the amount of $500.00. If i don't pay the loan today i will be arrested at work tomorrow. He even had my social security number. He said that i would never get a job again with this on my record and they would report it to all 3 credit agencies. This is a complete scam and in Violation of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act. I hope and pray these people get caught and arrested for taking money from innocent victims. I send them love & light. May they wake up. ~ Namaste

Beware of indian men with a 312 area code asking for preloaded green dot money cards. They told me since my credit wasn't the best that id have to pay the 1st months payment in advance for an online payday loan used an actual payday loan places name and knew all of my information. They kept telling me Oh the money will get deposited but im order to finalize the loan the government required more money and I said forget it they said well it's more money to cancel the loan app. Then they had another man call and say I don't know what your talking about the money on the cards is gone and that I needed to go back to the store of purchase to see what's wrong with the card. Feeling stupid for buying into all of this mess. They were so convincing and had all of my info. Then the man proceeded to tell me they are associated with the BBB so it wouldn't do me any good to call and report them.

There are sites out there that are not legit. Alot of them are from foreign countries which give legit company's a bad name. Honest company's will not store your personal information and their web site will be secured which will help protect your personal information. Read through your loan agreement carefully and never sign anything your not 100% comfortable with

Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I continue to get calls from a 972 number. They even sent me loan documents that stated that I was approved for a loan up to 2500, but I must call the number immediately to get the final verification step.
When I contacted the gentleman, Johnnie Williams he tells me that bc I have bad credit I have to get a green dot money pack for 150, when I begin to question how he knew all of this if they hadden ran a credit check he became very frustrated and said I will just cancel your application. I said okay and he hung up.
Very similar to Sharon Jones that was "Supposed to be with first citzens bank that said that I was approved for 3000 and I just needed to get the same card and follow the same steps. She stated that they were accredited by the Fcc and BBB. Me asking more and more question upset her to the point that she said do want the money or not! Ummmm NOT!!!!
I contacted the bank and they had no ideal of such a services and took her name and number.
I have also received the call from the 916 number and I told him that I would contact my attorney, police, and own states Attorney Generals office if he contacted me again. That was the last call. Im glad I followed my gut that it was all to good to be true.

i had that happened started about 4 months ago and for the last month havnt heard anything but now im getting summons for huge amount of money that i know arent mine cant beleive the judge signed them one amount was 4500 . i pay cash for everything and had no outstanding bills now getting garnished for this crap,never thought of calling police when i started getting the harrasing phone calls i recieved all the same calls as everyone stated .Makes me mad they can get away with it and garnish you without letting you know why or what it is for.grrr

I also received a phone call from CA 951-223-6693 with threats to my account and legal action needless to say I freaked out and am changing my account closing the current one and have turned in a fraud alert to the credit report agencies....sigh

Might I suggest the following tactic that I've used. It seems to irritate, agitate, AND aggravate the caller {HUGE GRIN}:
Call #1
Them: Is this joe blow?
You: Who's calling?
Them: I'm with the ____ Dept and need
You: I still haven't heard your company name. SO, provide me with your
--COMPANY NAME
--COMPANY ADDRESS
--LOCAL TELEPHONE NUMBER
--YOUR CEO'S NAME
--YOUR COMPANY'S CCA# (Consumer Collection Agency)
(or Bar#, if allegedly attorney's office)
Them: (usually try to talk over you and continue)
You: HANG UP PHONE (Don't worry, they'll call back...)

Call #2 (usually IMMEDIATELY after you hang up)
Them: Is this...
You: HANG UP

If they call back #3,
Them: Is..
You: Are you ready to provide ME with the information I REQUIRE?
Them: this Joe...
You: HANG UP

It's kind of like dealing with a cranky two year old ... you just keep "saying NO" until THEY do what YOU REQUIRE -- which is GIVE THEIR INFO TO YOU!

They do NOT want you to have this info. If they are registered businesses, they don't want to give you anything to turn them in with. So, just refuse to talk to them until THEY PROPERLY AND PROFESSIONALLY IDENTIFY THEMSELVES!

Beware of a scam.They use 911 as a ID number. It scared me when I saw that, and of course I answered the call. The man said he was a police officer and there was a legal complaint against me if I didn't pay them, they would have me arrested.

I have been introduced to this scam, and my god they are like sharks to chummed waters. I applied for one of these payday loans and have been called by no less than 50 different people claiming as many different companies. They all seem to have all of my info wanting me to verify it for their loans. Luckily I have
been recording all the numbers to turn over to the police and the Attorney general. Wish I had read this page before I got burned on a Green Dot money pak, then when I refused to send more cash thru that card he switched to wanting it sent thru Western Union. I even had two scanners claim to be from the same company, and they both told off on themselves by informing me that they had received complaints on the other and that they thieves attempting to steal my money, if that's not the pot callin' the kettle black I don't know what is. I too will be changing all bank info and phone numbers directly. Filed complaint with FTC today. The only way I can see to get at these guys is to stop using their preferred methods of payment then maybe these companies, who are basically laundering money for these thieves will take some initiative and look a little deeper at the people they do business with, after all isn't this making these companies accessories after the fact, and is that not a criminal act in itself?

On 8/27/13 at around 2pm Pacific time, I was notified by a friend (third party) that she was contacted by a woman named Michelle Walker, claiming to be from a company called Harris and Harvey Mediation, who was attempting to reach me. I called Ms. Walker back at 757-263-4266, and was told that she was unavailable. I spoke with a Steven Sanchez who informed me that he had my social security number, address, employer and banking information from a 2007 payday loan (statute of limitations in California is 4 years), and unless I made a payment to him at that moment, he was going to pursue legal action against me. When I attempted to discern who the original creditor was, or even how much I owed, he refused to give me that information. I stated that I was invoking my right to receive further information regarding this alleged debt in writing, and stated my preference that all further communications be in writing, as well as ceasing contact with any and all third parties, and he refused, threatening to call all of my family and friends. He then disconnected the call. I immediately placed a fraud alert on my social security number through all three credit bureaus and the Social Security Administration, and notified the IRS of potential identity theft as this did not sound like a legitimate debt collector. I also filed a complaint with the FTC.
On 9/10/13 at around 3pm Pacific time, I was again notified by the same third party that she was again contacted by Ms. Michelle Walker of Harris and Harvey Mediation. I again attempted to call Ms. Walker back at 757-263-4266, and was told by an unidentified male that she was again unavailable. I then requested the company’s address to issue a request for information in writing, and a cease phone contact letter. He stated he would transfer me to the front desk, who would provide me with that information. I was then transferred to Ms. Walker herself. When I advised her of my intent to send such letters, she told me that giving me their mailing address was “impossible.” I advised her of my right to request that she only contact me in writing, and to cease contacting any third party, and she stated that she would continue to contact me via phone to collect the alleged debt. I again requested information regarding this debt in writing, and she refused. When I notified her of my intent to alert the authorities, she placed the call on hold and then disconnected the call. I then informed the Virginia Beach Police Department, which is where the calls seem to have originated from. An Officer Lamb contacted me on 9/11/13 at 5:45am Pacific time, stating he had spoken with a gentleman at Harris and Harvey, and that all I needed to do was to call them to get this straightened out. I advised him of the above attempts at contact, and he advised me that it was probably a scam and to just ignore the calls, and if I get any further calls, “maybe” he’ll send a detective. He did not file a formal police report. I also reported the incidents to the Attorney General’s Office, the FBI fraud unit, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

I too applied for a payday loan online and the loan aggregator shopped all of my information around to probably 50 "lenders". I had so many phone calls all at the same time from loan cos. So I went with a company but guess what - I started getting all these calls about other loans I did NOT OWE!! This has been going on for 3-4 years and they not only harass me at work and call coworkers and pretend to be check fraud investigators, process servers, etc., they call my 80+ year old mother and harass, lie, and tell her I am going to jail for check fraud, bank fraud, etc. She even PAID one of them without talking to me first unknowingly. She had no idea it was a SCAM! Keep records of dates, times, phone numbers, and remember accents, their "names", and try to write down their exact message. Like others - try to get an address, and always google the phone number they give you. I have been reporting each number for these scammers and just hope that law enforcement will shut them down!

Last week I applied for an on line pay day money loan. I had so many phone calls I couldn't keep them straight. All of them requested either a 'Vanilla' or a 'Green Dot' money Pak.
I feel pretty foolish as I have spent over $1000 before I started to look at the web. I don't think I wanted to know I was being scammed.
Anyway, the numbers they used on me were;
1) Jason Miller, 754-201-2552 or 2554
company: Loan of America
2) Adam Ryan, 510-397-3343
company: National Cash Advance
3) James Smith, 531-333-6321 x105
no company name
4) Michael Howard, 646-719-8477
5) Anna Lamef & Kevin Roger, 734-469-7720
6) Kevin Logan, 510-545-7929 x211
7) Kevin Cooper, Rick Brown, Peter Spencer, Adam Garcia and Roger (all have Asian accent and American names) 510-545-7929
DBA: Cash Advance America

Company name US CASH LOANS
was told I was getting a 1600 dollar loanbut because of my bad credit score I would need to put $184 on a the nella reload balance certification card I did that and the company still did not give the loan of 1600 the company stated I need it to give 300 and $12 on my new card in order for me to receive the funds from Western Union I did that they refused to give me the money and stated I needed to give them more money now off $495.00 and 59 cents the company's name is zoom in on it long found online they keep calling from a number 347 985 9318 the company States if I don't pay them another card of $495 and 59 cents they will stand federal agents to my home to arrest me I ask for my money back they refuse I need help

Beware someone calling from phone number 434-223-1779
Hies name is Alex Fischer heavy Indian Accent company name DFF Financial Fraud trying to collect for a payday loan he said i have with Cash Advance America which i never had.

I applied for a loan for 4000.00 and all they did was ask for money on green dot money value pak card . Boy i feel so stupid. I talked with a guy named David Martin and Rick they took me for a lot of money. I need to pay all this money back to family and friends beware of consumer loans in Washington, D.C. Telephone number is 2026979415. 2027381371. I reported to the FTC

I'm afraid this is exactly what is happening to me at the moment. I have already bought 4 money pak and sent total of almost $600. I wish I could have read all of these reviews and comments first and avoided getting on this big mess. Thanks for sharing your story. It was a costly and hurtful learning experience to realize how people these days can be so heartless. They need the Lord to change their hearts so badly. 'glad that we always have Jesus- our hope of glory. He is coming back soon and these people who are doing these scamms better be ready.!!

I feel just as stupid, except my power has been shut off and I am running on batteries and neighbors extention cord. The guy tried getting me to pay another $150.00 and promised they would western union the $1300.oo except I really didnt have it that %150. was to be put towards my electric bill. this scam hurt! Then Green dot tells me they wont issue a refund to me unless they can recover the money. Green dot money paks should be illegal if sold they company should be just as liable those cards same as cash is only helping the scammer no protection for the victim. This is bull crap!!!

I just went through this with up front money and pay the tax for poor credit score, that was $390 in jan, now I just got called for a past due loan, and if I don't pay they will have me arrested at my work, the first guy name was allen carter and the second was sebatchen,but the allen carter guy used the same name from the loan in jan,i still have to talk to them tomorrow, but I feel better that my gut feeling was right, I also used a greendot money pak..

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