Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona is warning of advanced fee loan company, Billerica Financial, allegedly located in Auburn Massachusetts. BBB was made aware of Billerica Financial after consumers contacted BBB to inquire about Billerica Financial’s business practices.
Billerica Financial, which markets itself nationwide, offers personal loans for an upfront fee of over $800, with no request for verification of ID, date of birth, social security number, or any type of collateral. BBB attempted to contact Billerica Financial by phone and by mail to inquire about the business. The company provided no response.
The business website states their address is 48 Sword Street in Auburn MA. This address is occupied by an unrelated legitimate business. Billerica Financial is not licensed by the Massachusetts Division of Banking, or by any other state, to disperse loans, as is required by law
BBB recommends that consumers shopping for a loan look for the following red flags of an advance-fee loan scam:
Red Flags: Be wary of:
- Guaranteed approval. It’s a warning sign if the company promises loan approval before the borrower applies.
- Pressure to act immediately. Advance fee loan schemers will try to get consumers to send money or give out personal information (bank account information, credit card and Social Security numbers) before providing any paperwork.
- Hidden fees. Be suspicious if the lender understates loan costs or won’t provide a written summary of all fees associated with the loan.
- Evasive tactics. Be wary if a company refuses to provide location information. If they hesitate to reveal their physical location, it is usually a ploy to avoid law enforcement detection.
- Internet lenders. When applying for loans online, the consumer may have to fill out a detailed application; providing bank account information and other personal details. If the lender does not abide by strict privacy policies or fails to secure their website, identity theft risks abound. Additionally, some internet lenders may attempt to bypass state usury, licensing and consumer protection laws by residing in states with lax regulations or outside the U.S.
- The lender is not registered in your state to do business. Check with the state’s financial or banking regulators.
- The lender asks you to wire money or send a money order before you can receive the loan. You might be asked to wire money to another country. Consider this a giant red flag.
The BBB recommends the following tips when shopping for a loan:
- Don’t buy into bogus loan promises. If a loan offer is made and you must pay to get access to the funds, it is a scam. It is illegal for telemarketing loan providers to offer a loan and require an upfront payment before it is issued.
- Never wire money or send money orders to obtain a loan. Legitimate lenders won’t pressure you to wire funds. Never send funds to a third party.
- Be wary of loan approval or financing guarantees. Be suspicious of any lender that pre-approves loans or financing without checking your credit status or contacting references—especially if you have bad credit or no credit record. (more…)