Here’s a financial tip for the New Year: If you’re going to take out a loan online, check the company sending the money.
The state Department of Financial Institutions has issued an alert concerning an outfit called Action Payday, which uses the website actionpayday.com.
A state consumer alleged that Action Payday withdrew excess fees from his account. That’s how it works. You ask for some money, the company asks for access to your checking account. The company sends money and then withdraws the loan repayment.
And sometimes the company withdraws more than you expected.
Action Payday is not licensed by DFI, the agency said this week. Nor is it registered to do business in Washington by either the Department of Revenue or the Secretary of State.
A DFI investigation was unable to verify Action’s identity or contact information, and the firm “appears to be located outside of the United States.”
So beware. The easiest way to avoid problems, DFI said, is to deal only with lenders that are properly licensed to conduct business. Consumers can check licensing by using the “Verify a License” feature on DFI’s website at www.dfi.wa.gov/consumers/findcompany.htm.
If you are suspicious of unlicensed activity by a consumer lender, contact DFI at 877-746-4334, 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 1-877-382-4357, 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.
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.