SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Consumer & Business Services is warning consumers not to respond to calls they may receive from callers who identify themselves as working for a financial institution offering to refinance homes at low interest rates. "To begin the loan process" the caller directs the property owner to fax copies of personalized identification documents and to send six months' prepayment on the loan. The caller, said the department, is part of a telephone scam. The scam, as reported to Oregon's Division of Finance and Corporate Securities, involves New Life Financial Credit Union of Canada which requires property owners to send $1,800 in prepayments. DFCS has warned that other names and "prepayment" amounts may be used in the scam. According to the Department of Consumer & Business Services, in mid-October state government officials in Iowa followed up on a consumer call with Credit Union Central of Canada which told them that New Life Financial Credit Union of Canada is not a real credit union and that it had been the subject of inquiries from U.S. citizens, including those living in Oregon. Department of Justice Consumer Information Coordinator Jan Margosian said telemarketing scams based in Canada have been increasing over the past five years.

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