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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 102506
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I am very concerned that I was just the victim of fraud and

Customer Question

I am very concerned that I was just the victim of fraud and would sincerely ***** ***** legal advice. I am located in Colorado and was approved for a $50k personal loan from a private lender (company) located in California (they have their own website and advertise on many investor sites). I signed a Loan Agreement and Promissory Note (which the lender had signed and notarized) on September 2 and was anticipating receipt of the funds by September 4 (per my phone conversation with the loan officer who has been my point of contact throughout the entire process). I was not required to pay any fees upfront whatsoever. However, the loan officer advised that because their account was recently compromised, they now have had to exercise extra precautions with each loan they fund. Specifically, they required me to open a Discover bank account and link my personal bank account to this Discover account so that the funds could be deposited into the Discover account and I would then, in turn, be able to transfer the funds to my personal account. I did as instructed. They also have a provision contained in the Loan Terms they sent me which states they (the lender) must conduct a test deposit, which I did not think was out of the ordinary because many lenders/companies do this. I was then asked for my Discover bank account routing number and account number for purposes of the deposit of my loan funds. Again, I did as instructed. Then, the concerning part occurred. The loan officer advised that these "test deposits" weren't the normal test deposits most lenders do. Instead, she advised she would need my login info to access my Discover bank account at the time the test deposit went through to make sure a third party was not attempting to withdraw the funds. She said this was required. I expressed my concerns to her that this would put my security and account at risk. She claimed they were having to do this on all loans from this point forward due to their own account being compromised. I withdrew what money I initially deposited into the Discover account so that there would be only a very small balance left, and I gave her the login info. At the time she was trying to access my Discovery bank account, she said needed the "additional questions" in case the system would not allow her to log in from California. I explained that when a login occurs from a non-recognized computer on the Discover website, the system automatically emails (or texts) me a Security ID Number to enter upon login. I advised her to select that option (to email the Security ID Number) and I would in turn provide it to her so that she could log in. She kept insisting that she would need the "questions" but I kept explaining to her that the system does not ask for any "questions" - only the Security ID Number. This conversation occurred on September 3, and she never ended up following through with requesting the Security ID Number and no login occurred. Ever since that date, most of my communications have been ignored (email, phone, text) and I still have not received my promised loan funds. I have now changed my log-in info for my Discover bank account (for extra security). There have been only a few times I have received a response from the loan officer and that is when I have expressed my concerns of being defrauded and have threatened to report this incident and file a complaint. She would usually respond with “I will call you” but, of course, never would. The last communication I received from her was last Thursday (Sept. 17), via text, in which she responded that she thinks "I should hold on"; that they are "not finished with the agreement papers"; and that she will communicate with me later as she is heading into a meeting" (in response to my question as to what is really going on). Of course, I have not heard from her since, even though I have sent several follow-up text messages. I am beyond frustrated and concerned. I would like to know what rights I have in pursuing legal action against this lender and what course of action you would recommend. I am also unsure as to whether I should contact an attorney (and/or agencies) located in Colorado or California. I would sincerely ***** ***** legal advice! Many thanks!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note:This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am sorry to hear about this situation. This was indeed a scam. And you need to file a complaint with IC3 immediately - see HERE. This wil get routed to the proper authorities such as the FBI, which can then investigate this matter from a criminal side.

Civilly, these scammers may indeed be sued if they are ever identified. You want to contact an attorney in the state where you live for more practical purposes, although CA also shares jurisdiction. The attorney should work close with the authorities in attempting to find out who these scammers are.

Good luck in catching these scammers.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Gentle Reminder: Use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars or failing to submit the rating does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith by rating me positively.

Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.

Hello again. This is a courtesy check in to see if you needed anything else in regards ***** ***** question. I am simply touching base. Let me know. Thanks!