A two month investigation reveals frauds committed by individuals claiming to be United State Government employees are on the rise. In addition to frauds where individuals are pretending to be government employees the unstable housing market has created a rise in illicit companies preying on individuals struggling monetarily by guaranteeing loans despite poor credit scores and credit histories; these are loans the consumers will never receive. The unstable housing market and the increase in the numbers of foreclosures getting a loan for a mortgage have caused many consumers to become ineligible to be approved for loans creating the need for consumers to search for alternative means of getting one.

A representative from one of these companies will contact potential consumers offering them a loan for anything including home equity, bill consolidation, mortgage refinancing and personal loans. The customer is “approved” for a loan and then instructed to send a portion of their monthly payments via money gram to an address in Canada to insure the loan due to their lacking credit scores. The amounts that are paid upfront are typically around $1000 but there are consumers who claim they have submitted amounts as high as $7000. Often times the representative will call again once that money has been received claiming they need a larger deposit, while many consumers catch onto the scam at this point, there are many unfortunate ones who do not.

Rockcliffe Financial Group is one of the companies involved in this type of scam. The Better Business Bureau shows the company has gone out of business, Internet searches confirm the same but also reveal that Rockcliffe Financial Group has resurfaced as 48 Hour Loan Center and 24 Hour Loan Center. The websites contain no contact information and any contact information available online aren’t any help either. Contact information provided by representatives are useless as well, research has revealed that the addresses don’t exist and phone numbers are disconnected creating nothing but dead ends for consumers that were scammed.

Due to the influx in frauds being committed of this nature Susan Peterson, COO of Kessler International has offered the following advice to avoid becoming a victim of this nature:

• Be cautious of “guaranteed loans” and companies that promise everyone will be approved.
• Research the company, use the Better Business Bureau website, the SEC, and the NASD websites and the various state regulatory agencies websites and look for fraud alerts. Use a search engine seeking information about the company you’re dealing with as well as the company.
• Don’t share personal information with the caller until you know who you are dealing with.
• Don’t wire funds to Canada or overseas.
• Most important: Follow your instincts, and when in doubt “JUST SAY NO.”

For more information about Kessler International or if you are a victim of a similar crime, please call (212) 286-9100 or visit the company website at www.investigation.com .

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