Dewitt Financial Group, with an advertised address in Twin Falls, Idaho, is bilking potential clients of hundreds of upfront fees for loans they never receive.
“A month-long investigation by Better Business Bureau has turned up evidence showing Dewitt Financial is running an illegal upfront fee loan scheme,” says CEO Dale Dixon, of Better Business Bureau serving the Snake River Region. “We’ve moved to have this website shut down.”
A Florida man who sent nearly $800 in upfront fees for a $10,000 loan, tipped off BBB investigators to the finance scheme.
“It looked really official, and I talked with the people on the phone, and they sent me a really legal looking contract,” said Dewayne Carr of Deerfield Beach, Fla.
Carr became suspicious when the promised money was never deposited into his account, and calls to the 1-866 toll free number went unanswered.
BBB investigators followed the phone number and discovered it was registered to a location in Toronto, Ontario.
In addition, the address provided on the website, 2163 River Vista Place, Twin Falls, is an office complex. Examiners with the Idaho Department of Finance found no proof the company existed in this location.
“Our examiners did a location check on the group and determined it was non-existent,” said Billie Kay, Idaho Department of Finance.
Tracking down the web address, www.dewittfg.com, showed it was registered to William Puok, 4200 Kingston Road Unit 12, Toronto, Ontario. The website was established on April 10, 2012, and is registered with GoDaddy.com.
“We’ve notified the host company about the discovery and asked them to put a hold on this particular site,” Dixon says.
The phone number associated with the registration rings through to a cellphone belonging to a woman in Atlanta, Ga. The woman said she was not associated with the financial group and the cellphone was her personal phone.
“I’ve never been involved with this company,” she said.
BBB called the number provided by Dewitt Financial and was directed to an automated voice answering system. After listening to the options, attempts to get through were repeatedly turned back to the original greeting. The phone disconnected after two attempts to access extensions were punched in.
Dixon says, “Up front loan fees, a false Idaho location, getting the run-around with the phone numbers and the website registration prove this is an illegal scam.”
Better Business Bureau recommends people check every loan option with BBB before providing information. Visit bbb.org, enter your zip code and click the ‘Check out a Business or Charity’ button to research a company for free.