Consumer Alerts

  • Metro Remittance (U.S.A.), Inc. Voluntarily Surrenders Money Transmitter License (08/01/2018)

    Metro Remittance (U.S.A.), Inc. (MRUSA) has surrendered its California money transmitter license and ceased its California operations effective July 31, 2018. MRUSA’s surrender request is under review and will require the issuance of a Surrender Order by the Department of Business Oversight.  Consumers with questions regarding their transactions with MRUSA should direct their requests to:

    Achilles L. Bernal
    Metro Remittance (U.S.A.) Inc.
    11700 South Street, Suite 203
    Artesia, CA 90701
    PH: 562-376-4010
    FAX: 562-376-4011
    albernal@metroremitusa.com

    MRUSA consumers in California also may file a complaint at http://www.dbo.ca.gov/Consumers/consumer_services.asp.

    To check whether a financial service provider is licensed in California, or to file a complaint, consumers should go to the DBO website at www.dbo.ca.gov or call 1-866-275-2677.

  • “Urgent Cash Loan” not a licensed CA lender, fraudulently lists DBO address (07/23/2018)

    The Department of Business Oversight (DBO) has been notified that an entity, possibly based in France and offering loans at the website “urgentcashloanonline.com,” is claiming to be located at the address of the DBO’s Los Angeles office. This company, “Urgent Cash Loan Online” aka “Urgent-Cash-Loan” at website urgentcashloanonline.com, is not licensed to conduct lending business in California, and the physical address listed in emails from email address contact@urgentcashloanonline.com is not their address.

    The DBO urges consumers to exercise extreme caution before responding to any solicitation promoting loans, escrow services or other offers.  To check whether a financial service provider is licensed in California, or to file a complaint, consumers should go to the DBO website at www.dbo.ca.gov or call 1-866-275-2677.

  • Deceptive Mailers Target Customers of Santa Maria Bank (07/17/2018)

    The Department of Business Oversight (DBO) has been notified of a deceptive mailer being sent to customers of Community Bank of Santa Maria, a DBO licensee.  These mailers come from an entity that calls itself Community Bank & Trust of Santa Maria, California, making it difficult to distinguish between the DBO-licensed bank and the source of the mailer.  The fax number on the mailer is from Reno, Nevada.  The DBO could find no record of Community Bank & Trust in Santa Maria or Reno. There is no entity by that name licensed by the DBO.

    The DBO urges consumers to exercise extreme caution before responding to any solicitation promoting loans or other offers. To check whether a financial service provider is licensed in California, or to file a complaint, consumers should go to the DBO website at www.dbo.ca.gov or call 1-866-275-2677.

  • Unidos Financial Services Voluntarily Surrenders Money Transmitter License (07/16/2018)

  • Unidos Financial Services, Inc. (Unidos) has surrendered its California money transmitter license and ceased its California operations effective May 31, 2018. Unidos’ surrender request is under review and will require the issuance of a Surrender Order by the Department of Business Oversight.  Consumers with questions regarding their transactions with Unidos should direct their requests to:

    Kevin M. Lutkins, Esq., CAMS, Chief Compliance Officer/General Counsel
    Unidos Financial Services, Inc.
    Tempo Financial US Corp.
    MEMO Financial Services, Inc., and Subsidiaries
    1510 W Canal Court, Suite 1000
    Littleton, CO 80120
    PH: 717-760-5903
    PH: 303-256-3458
    FAX: 717-214-5966
    klutkins@memoco.com
    klutkins@unidosfinancial.com
    www.memoco.com

    Unidos California consumers also may file a complaint at http://www.dbo.ca.gov/Consumers/consumer_services.asp.

    To check whether a financial service provider is licensed in California, or to file a complaint, consumers should go to the DBO website at www.dbo.ca.gov or call 1-866-275-2677.

  • “Michael S. Foraker” and “Funding Zone LLC” fraudulently using Texas resident Micheal Foraker’s identity and offering loans (06/29/2018)

  • The Department of Business Oversight (DBO) has been notified of entities fraudulently claiming to be “Michael S. Foraker” and offering loans through “Funding Zone Illinois LLC” or “Funding Zone LLC” at the website fundingzoneil.com.  The imposters use the email address Michael.S.Forakerloans@outlook.com, and will claim to be the actual Micheal Foraker by providing an image of his Texas driver’s license.  The fraudulent paperwork provided contains the language “Solicitor & Advocates, Real Estate & Financial Consultants … Government accredited licensed company, under the data protection act of America.” These entities are not licensed to conduct lending activity in California, and might exist out of the United States.

    An actual licensed Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) named Micheal Shawn Foraker (note the licensed MLO spells his name “Micheal” instead of “Michael”) exists in Texas, with Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) number 1622165. He is not licensed to conduct MLO activity in California.

    The DBO urges consumers to exercise extreme caution before responding to any solicitation promoting loans or other offers. To check whether a financial service provider is licensed in California, or to file a complaint, consumers should go to the DBO website at www.dbo.ca.gov or call 1-866-275-2677.

  • Entities fraudulently using Rise Credit of California’s DBO license number (06/14/2018)

  • The Department of Business Oversight (DBO) has been notified of two entities, “Surf Hollister California LLC DBA” and “Raymond Bryan” (with email address raymondbryanloanfinancefirm@gmail.com and website raymondbryanloanfirm.com, falsely claiming to be licensed by the DBO. The entities are presenting falsified licensing documents with the DBO seal and staff signatures and the license number “603 J998.” That license number belongs to “RISE CREDIT OF CALIFORNIA,” a legitimate DBO licensee under the California Financing Law. Neither “Surf Hollister California LLC DBA” nor “Raymond Bryan Loan Firm” hold any licenses with the DBO.

    The DBO urges consumers to exercise extreme caution before responding to any solicitation promoting loans or other offers. To check whether a financial service provider is licensed in California, or to file a complaint, consumers should go to the DBO website at www.dbo.ca.gov or call 1-866-275-2677.

  • The DBO issued a cease and desist order to Coceptive Credit Union (Coceptive) on April 26, 2018

  • The order prohibits Coceptive from conducting business in California without a license and from using the phrase “credit union.” Coceptive is purporting to operate as a credit union at 345 California Street, San Francisco, California and 1055 West 7th Street, Los Angeles, California and over the internet at the website www.coceptivecreditunion.com. This entity is not licensed by the DBO and is not authorized to conduct business as a credit union in California. All persons who have communicated with Coceptive Credit Union are asked to contact the DBO’s Consumer Services Office at (916) 327-7585.

  • Callers falsely claiming to be DBO licensees “KwikCash” and “Advance America” (05/09/2018)

  • The Department of Business Oversight (DBO) has been notified of multiple individuals making unsolicited phone calls to consumers who have applied for online loans, claiming that these consumers have been approved for loans, asking for upfront payment, and then never providing any funds. These individuals or entities use many different names, including “Advance America,” “Cash Advance America,” “Quick Cash Funding,” “Quick Cash Loans,” and “Kwik Cash.” Most recently, the DBO has been told perpetrators claim to be “KwikCash in Irvine” and use the email cashadvanceamerica@outlook.com and phone number 213-784-4452. These entities should not be confused with active DBO licensees KwikCash in Irvine and Advance America, both of which provide loans, nor their websites, kwikcashonline.com and advanceamerica.net.

    The DBO encourages consumers to beware of any solicitations asking for advance fees. To check whether a loan company is licensed by the DBO, or to file a complaint, go to the DBO website at www.dbo.ca.gov  or call 1-866-275-2677.

  • Entity fraudulently purporting to be Edmunds.com offering escrow services using Escrow.com’s DBO license number (05/09/2018)

  • The Department of Business Oversight (DBO) has been notified that an entity falsely purporting to be a company called Edmunds.com is offering escrow services using another company’s DBO escrow license number.  DBO escrow license number 963-1867 belongs to a company called Escrow.com also known as Internet Escrow Services Inc. Edmunds.com is not licensed to conduct escrow business in California. This fraudulent entity urges consumers contacted through Craigslist, and possibly other internet sites, to use its escrow services via a website that looks like an Edmunds.com website, but is not.  For example, the fraudulent website has a page ending with “.info” instead of the “.com” URL (Edmunds.com.set-up-transaction.info).  Edmunds.com has posted its own alert about this type of scam at https://help.edmunds.com/hc/en-us/articles/115006027527-Ongoing-scam-Edmunds-escrow-fraud

    The DBO urges consumers to exercise extreme caution before responding to any solicitation promoting loans, escrow services or other offers.  To check whether a financial service provider is licensed in California, or to file a complaint, consumers should go to the DBO website at www.dbo.ca.gov or call 1-866-275-2677.

  • DBO Offices in San Francisco to Consolidate March 16

  • On Friday, March 16, the DBO office at 45 Fremont Street Suite 1700 San Francisco, CA 94105-2219 will be consolidated into the DBO office at One Sansome Street, Suite 600, San Francisco, CA 94104-4428. Please make a note of it.

    Telephone numbers for affected DBO staff will remain unchanged.

  • National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW)

  • Here at the DBO, we are committed to helping Californians understand their consumer rights and make well-informed financial decisions. The DBO will join other government agencies and organizations to promote consumer education through consumer events and free resources during National Consumer Protection Week, March 4 – 10. Check out DBO’s interactive financial education module on our Consumer Education & Outreach webpage, http://www.dbo.ca.gov/Consumers/education_outreach along with other helpful resources. To learn more about NCPW, visit: www.NCPW.gov

  • February 26 – March 3 is America Saves Week

  • America Saves Week is a national event that encourages consumers to save more and take initiatives to improve their saving habits. This campaign seeks to motivate, encourage, and support households to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth. As California’s financial services regulator, the DBO is committed to providing consumers helpful information and resources on a variety of financial topics. For free resources, visit our Consumer Education and Outreach page.

  • Phony Nigerian Bank Website (01/09/2018)

  • The DBO has been notified of a fraudulent banking website registered in Nigeria, with the address bluegateindustrialbank.com and company names BlueGate Industrial Bank USA N.A. and Blue Gate Industrial Bank. This entity is not licensed by the DBO or the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. It is not authorized by the DBO to conduct business as a bank in California. Consumers should not confuse this entity with the State-chartered “Blue Gate Bank,” in Costa Mesa, CA, which is licensed by the DBO.

    The DBO urges consumers to exercise caution and do their homework before deciding to do business with banks or other financial service providers. To check whether a financial service provider is licensed in California, whether they have been subject to enforcement actions, or to file a complaint, consumers should go to the DBO website’s homepage at www.dbo.ca.gov.

  • Earned Income Tax Credit and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

  • The California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) is now bigger and better! This cash-back credit is designed to put money in the pockets of low-income working families and individuals. Claiming this credit is easy. Eligible taxpayers just need to file a state tax return. The free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program assists low-income workers with filing federal tax returns. For more information, visit caleitc4me.org.