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Every day in the United States, hundreds of people turn over the last of their hard-earned money to scam artists. According to the FBI, scams related to cash advances and loan offers add up to millions each year.
How can so many be defrauded so easily? Careful criminal planning.
American and overseas operations start by creating websites that resemble those of a government agency or a familiar banking institution like Citibank, Money Mutual or First Financial. They advertise loan offers at very low rates on these websites, but they never make a single loan. They simply collect your personal data including bank account numbers, social security numbers and more. They deny every applicant, BUT the information they’ve collected is a gold mine.
They sell it to a second operation. Using a familiar bank name and the target’s personal information, this second company has little problem convincing unsuspecting consumers that it’s legitimate. Often, it explains that it has “more flexible” loan requirements because it is larger or more efficient or specializes in a certain area. The borrower need only prove they can make the first payment to win the loan. Here’s where alarm bells should go off. The “loan agent” then asks the borrower to put the first payment on a Walmart Green Dot or other cash card or wire the money electronically.
When the loan amount doesn’t arrive in the borrower’s bank account, the “loan agent” explains that another sum is needed for insurance. This technicality can be taken care of, again, by putting the amount on a cash card and providing the cash card numbers to the “loan agent” . . . as soon as possible, of course. To learn more signs of certain fraud, read the Beware Common Cash Advance and Loan Scams: Clear Signals of Fraud page in our consumer notices section.
Most of us can’t comprehend taking someone else’s money let alone spending months constructing elaborate schemes, telephone scripts and letters to defraud people in sometimes desperate situations. Our own rejection of such malicious acts sets us up to believe the friendly “loan agent” at the other end of the line really does have our best interests at heart. When a loan proves to be fraud, many prefer to keep the incident to themselves. If you’re in this situation, please don’t let embarrassment paralyze you. These criminals worked hard to concoct the perfect fraud. You didn’t stand a chance. BUT by reporting everything you know to the proper authorities, you can help keep more people from becoming victims. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the FBI both work hard to find and shut these scams down. If you or a loved one has become a victim of fraud, report the crime to the FBI at https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx. If an illegitimate “loan agent” uses the name First Financial, please call us right away at 800-315-7791 so we can report it to the state attorney general’s office.
First Financial proudly adheres to strict ethical standards set by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). If you need funds for medical bills, car or computer repair or anything, fill out one of our easy loan applications. With automated services and low overhead (no physical buildings to staff and power), we can charge lower rates and fees than neighborhood banks. Stay connected to First Financial’s offers through our Facebook.
One of the best ways you can learn how to avoid car buying scams will be to go to the website of the Michigan organization H.E.A.T. (Help Eliminate Auto Thefts). They have many great tips that will provide you with ideas of how to make sure if you were to say buy a car from someone off of craigslist to make sure that the deal goes down successfully with nothing fishy going on.
Some of their tips will include:
Its 2020! Now this is a subject that we take extra serious ourselves since we have been working in this business for many years. There are many sites unlike ours though that really will do you no good and just steal your information and since it is very serious personal information then you can be damaged severely. This will be easy to avoid though and there are two quick things that you will be able to do that will make sure that you know you are working with someone legitimate. One thing that you will be able to do is take the business name and check it against the Better Business Bureau. This is a great way to see that it is a legitimate company and will validate that you are working with someone that is safe. If you do not want to do that kind of research then you will also be able to just check the application to make sure that it is secured. That will be one of the best ways to make sure that you keep safe when applying for an auto loan online. Before you know it you will be able to receive a great deal and hopefully you have learned something and will be safe!
Mobile Payments Security
Where does mobile credit card processing security come in to play? The main concern is that consumers’ information cannot be breached during any mobile transaction. Processors are concerned that processing transmissions might be targeted for intercepted, making private financial information available to thieves and hackers. Some consumer are concerned that virtual wallets might leave consumers open to fraud if their phones are lost or stolen.
For now, it’s likely that criminals are more concerned with obtaining batches of credit card numbers rather than single numbers. The technologies are moving so fast that it may be some time before hackers can quickly break into mobile card transactions. There is sure to be a long learning curve for both merchants using mobile card readers and consumers using virtual wallets when they become available worldwide.
Safety concerns go hand in hand with all technological development we see today. Recently Square released a new version of its mobile card reader that uses encryption to safeguard transactions details. The Intuit Go Payment card reader uses secure socket layer (SSL) encryption. This type of encryption is practically impenetrable, some experts say. There’s security for merchants because card information is not stored in their phones and security for consumers because they can see the swipe happen in front of them..
Virtual wallet security, processors will allow you to load credit, debit and loyalty cards onto your phone and then encrypt that information. A PIN will be required for payment, and the mobile phone will need to be held by the user and waved near a reader. This combination of encryption, a PIN number and the phone never leaving the consumer’s hands should add up to a full security system.
Everyone knows that the auto loan business has risks, but there may be more out there than you initially think. The risks that you think of are probably just when you are dealing with such processes as seeking car loans for low credit scores and how you can easily get stuck with a high interest rate. Things of that nature are what you typically watch out for, but another one is much more serious and can hurt people of all types of credit situations. It will target the same audience though for the most part.
First Financial does not own or service any debt. We are a lead aggregate. We do not do any out bound calling. We do not hire anyone to do any collection on our behalf. If someone is calling and says they are from First Financial you should ask for their phone number and call them back or contact your phone company.
First Financial® Corporate Headquarters: 2850 Womble Road Suite 100-604 San Diego, CA 92106
Client Service Center: Main: 1-800-315-7791 Fax: 1-800-215-0217 (Monday–Friday 5:00am–6:00pm Pacific or 8:00am–9:00pm Eastern)
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