Better Business Bureau | Greater Maryland warns consumers that two entities, Certified Lending Group and Wesley Financial Group are targeting persons with poor credit scores. BBB reports indicate consumers have lost thousands to the pair, which claim offices in Baltimore and Annapolis, on the promise of a guaranteed loan.
As consumers struggle to stay afloat in a tide of rising costs and a shrinking economy, many are in search of quick fix. Advance fee loan scams prey on vulnerable populations in their time of greatest need. Debt-laden consumers faithfully entrust whatever financial reserves they can muster to cover what they are told to be insurance and collateral fees. Once wired, their money is gone.
BBB warns consumers to beware and reminds those seeking a loan or other means of financial assistance never to wire money to someone they do not know or out of the country. Scam artists often find their prey by obtaining lists of consumers who have recently searched loan companies on the Internet. Be sure you are only providing personal identification information to a secured or encrypted website response.
“Legitimate lenders never guarantee a customer a loan before receipt of a loan application, especially if the customer does not have a spotless record of credit,” notes BBB President & CEO, Angie Barnett. “If the lender seems unconcerned with your financial standing you should think twice.”
An investigation by BBB revealed the address consumers believed to be occupied by Wesley Financial at 300 E. Pratt Street was in fact a construction site for a future hotel. Hyatt Commercial, a local property management firm, confirmed to BBB the building Certified Lending Group claims to occupy at 133 Defense Highway in Annapolis does not and has not leased to them as tenant.
If a company advertises a Maryland address, consumers should check with the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation’s Division of Financial Regulation by calling 410-230-6097 or visiting their Web site at www.dllr.state.md.us/finance to verify the business is licensed with the state. You can also obtain a free company report and review objective information about a company’s record of performance at www.bbb.org.