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FTC creates fake site to help consumers spot “advance fee” loan scams
May 28, 2010

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has created a “teaser” Web site for a fictitious lending company that warns consumers about how easy it is to be fooled by scammers charging up-front fees for bogus loans. The site also explains how to spot and avoid loan scams. The Web site is part of a consumer education campaign to help consumers manage their money and learn to recognize scams. At, consumers enter the fictitious world of Esteemed Lending Services, where a loan for every situation is guaranteed. The site claims qualified loan specialists will help you find a loan for any purpose, or consolidate your high-interest debt--regardless of your credit history. But when consumers click to learn more or apply for a loan, they will discover that Esteemed Lending is not a real company. The Web site provides information to warn consumers about scammers masquerading as lenders. These scammers start by promising loans, only later revealing a fee that consumers have to pay first. If they pay, it’s unlikely they will see the promised loan, and they run the risk that their personal information will end up in the hands of identity thieves. The site also gives consumers tips to help spot an advance fee scam, and includes links to more information from the FTC. This Web site and other FTC “teaser sites” are available at For more information, visit
May 28, 2010
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