Delta Finance Loans. The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) and the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) warn that consumers are receiving unsolicited phone calls from an entity calling itself Delta Finance Inc. offering loans if the targeted consumer pays an advance fee. Consumers who paid the fee did not receive the loan as promised.
The scammers claim that they can provide loans no matter the credit history of the consumer and claim that they have made loans in amounts in the tens of thousands for individuals and businesses.
ITRC believes that the scammers are purchasing information of their targets from short term lenders.
The best defense from financial scammers, such as Delta Finance Loans, is to hang up when they call you. DFI recommends that if you need a loan, that you deal only with property licensed businesses. You can verify a license at www.dfi.wa.gov.
Department of Financial Institutions:
Natural Disaster Scams. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has issued a warning to the public about scammers taking advantage of the wildfires in eastern Washington. While the focus of its alert is the wildfires, this may be a good time to emphasize them with the recent storm that we have had in Puget Sound.
DNR reports that individuals posing as contractors have been offering help with timber harvest salvage, woodlot restoration, debris removal and other cleanup activities. It points out that some of these individuals may not be legitimate.
Some scammers may offer to clear debris. They often ask for money up front and then disappear or pick up your debris then dump it on a neighbor’s property, along a roadside or on government land. If the debris is tracked to your property, then you are responsible for any costs and penalties of clean up.
Apparently, there is no requirement for a consulting forester to be licensed by the state. DNR recommends that if you are thinking about using someone who claims to be a forester that you determine if they are legitimate. DNR recommends that you check them out with the Association of Consulting Foresters (https://www.acf-foresters.org/) and/ or with the Society of American Foresters (http://www.safnet.org/). Both of these professional organizations have codes of ethics that focus on professionalism and the landowner’s best interest.
Charity scammers often call asking for donations to help people caught up in natural disasters taking advantage of people’s natural inclination to help others. But the scammers keep the money and none of it goes toward the stated purpose. Some ways you can steer clear of the scams include:
· Do not respond to unsolicited email.
· Be skeptical of individuals asking for donations via email or social networking sites.
· Beware of organizations with copycat names similar to but not exactly the same as reputable charities, and organizations that use a .com web address instead of .org.
· Research a charity independently on the Internet rather than click on an unsolicited link.
· Avoid cash donations if possible. Pay by debit or credit card or write a check directly to the charity. Do not make checks payable to individuals.
· Be wary of anyone who seems too aggressive in asking for a donation or asks for cash, a wire transfer or check addressed to an individual rather than an organization.
You can also research charities on the Washington Secretary of State’s Information for Donor’s web page (https://www.sos.wa.gov/charities/donors.aspx), on the www.BBB.org or www.Give.org.