Steve McFarlane dba Courageous Investment Solutions LLC and/or ADVANCE AMERICA, CASH ADVANCE CENTERS OF CALIFORNIA, LLC – ADVANCE FEE SCAM
The Department of Business Oversight (DBO) has received reports of what appears to be an advanced fee loan scam. Consumers report receiving correspondence from “Steve A. McFarlane” or “Steve McFarlane” with a Missouri address, doing business as “Courageous Investment Solutions LLC” or “Advance America” and/or “Cash Advance Centers of California LLC,” telling them that they were approved for a loan. After accepting the loan offer, consumers learned that they could not receive the loan unless they first paid a fee and were instructed to pay the fee using a prepaid card. The consumers paid the fee, but never received the promised loan. State law prohibits companies from charging such advance fees or any fees unless the loan is made.
In these cases, the correspondence sent to the consumers included a copy of a DBO License for “ADVANCE AMERICA; CASH ADVANCE CENTERS OF CALIFORNIA, LLC,” that was fraudulently altered to show the name “Steve McFarlane” in the area that should contain the name of the DBO Commissioner.
The DBO urges consumers to exercise extreme caution before responding to any solicitation promoting loans or other offers. For more information on this type of scam and other fraudulent schemes, check out DBO’s Protect Yourself From Fraud (PDF) publication posted on the DBO website. For information on filing a complaint, consumers should contact the DBO at www.dbo.ca.gov or 1-866-275-2677.