FERNDALE, Mich. – Credit Union ONE’s corporate name is being fraudulently used to solicit debt consolidation services throughout the U.S. According to the CU, since September 2003, numerous newspaper ads originating from an unknown group in Toronto, Ontario, have appeared in about 50 publications, and those in Ohio and Illinois have been the most heavily targeted. Mark Sebastian, Credit Union ONE Compliance/Security Officer said, “The ads falsely state that Credit Union ONE, located in Michigan, has offices in Toronto and that the credit union can provide debt consolidation loans to normally high risk consumers for up front fees to cover such items as insurance, border taxes and processing fees.” The ads typically include a phone number for consumers to call and a contact number provided for billing purposes. Sebastian said consumers who respond to the ads receive a packet of information including a loan note and a request for further personal information. They’re also asked for advance payments to insure the loan and to cover border tax fees before the loan can be disbursed. Once the fees, which run between $300-$2,500 are wired, the consumers never receive the loan and they’re now subject to the possibility of identify fraud. Sebastian said Credit Union ONE has notified the state regulator. It’s also notified newspaper publishers who are running the ads of the fraudulent activity.

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