Beware of Bogus "Easy Credit" Loans

Our agency has received numerous complaints from Texas consumers and warnings from other states about advance fee loan offers that promise easy terms and quick credit approval for almost any applicant. I want to caution consumers that these con artists may use company names that are very similar or even identical to the names of reputable banks or lending companies. They may also fax official-looking forms and questionnaires to their prospective "customers."

You should be aware that loans requiring the payment of a fee up front are illegal. Offers of easy credit to borrowers with low credit ratings should always be regarded with suspicion. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you are considering a debt consolidation loan, or are attempting to borrow money in spite of a poor credit history, you can contact the National Foundation for Credit Counseling at 1-800-388-2227 for a 24-hour automated listing of credit counseling offices. Or visit www.nfcc.org.

General Abbott's signature
Greg Abbott
Attorney General of Texas

Back

ABOUT CONSUMER ALERTS - The Office of the Attorney General accepts consumer complaints about businesses. When a pattern of complaints warrants intervention, the Attorney General can file a civil lawsuit under consumer protection statutes, sometimes with the result that a company is required to pay restitution to consumers -- see our Major Lawsuits page. However, when a consumer is swindled by a con artist, filing a complaint cannot help. Civil litigation can sometimes put a very unscrupulous business out of action, but often cannot produce restitution.

Individual con artists generally fall under the jurisdiction of a criminal prosecutor -- in Texas, this is the district or county attorney. But even when they are charged and convicted, these individuals usually have spent the money as fast as they have stolen it. A person who is the victim of fraud should report the incident to the police or sheriff. But by far the best thing is for consumers to be aware of fraud, so they are not swindled in the first place. For this reason, the Office of the Attorney General posts these Consumer Alerts about possible scams and schemes that come to our attention through citizen contacts to our office or other sources.

Revised: