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Scam alert from DFI: new twist on an old story – somebody wants to part you from your money

Post by C.R. Roberts / The News Tribune on March 17, 2010 at 7:09 am |
March 17, 2010 10:29 am

Have you had a call from the “Williams Law Office?”

The State Department of Financial Institutions says be careful. It could be a scam.

In an alert to consumers, the agency warns consumers to verify the license of any lending professional they are considering doing business with – or else face the chance of becoming a victim.

“These scammers are frighteningly well informed, very persistent and extremely threatening. Anyone who has been contacted by them should take steps to protect their personal financial information and treat this as a matter of identity theft,” the alert said.

The “Williams Law Office,” it continues, “may be conducting a debt collection scam. They have no listed address. The Williams Law Office does not appear to have a Web site. ,,, The contact information provided by the company is false. They are not at the listed address and telephone numbers that may appear on your caller ID. The company may in fact be located in a foreign country.”

The company is not registered to do business in Washington by either the Department of Revenue or the Washington Secretary of State.

Here’s how the possible scam might work:
• Representatives of Williams Law Office make unsolicited telephone calls to consumers at home or at work. The scammers tell consumers that they are being prosecuted for loan fraud, bank fraud or check fraud because they have defaulted on a payday loan
• The scammers claim to be attorneys collecting a debt
• The scammers may threaten the consumer with immediate arrest, and tell consumers that they received a payday loan and must make payment by providing a checking account or credit card number
• If a consumer pays the scammers, they will continue to aggressively contact that consumer for even more money.

If you feel you have been a victim of a loan scam, DFI advises that you contact the Federal Trade Commission at 382-4357. Then, because the scammers have access to bank account information and Social Security numbers, victims should take appropriate precautions to avoid the effects of identity theft.

The Federal Trade Commission offers information for victims of identity theft available on its Web site, www.ftc.gov.

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