Windsor

Be wary of fraudulent online loan schemes, say Windsor police, Better Business Bureau

According to Windsor police, all three reported instances of fraud began during online communication with what police believe is a fraudulent company presenting with a Windsor address.

The Better Business Bureau identified Sherwood Financial Services as fraudulent loan lender

The Better Business Bureau was unable to successfully connect with one online fraudulent loan lender by posing as a customer. (Shutterstock)

Windsor police and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) have both issued public warnings about fraudulent loan lending taking place in the city. 

In a Thursday media release, Windsor police said the Financial Crimes Unit is currently investigating three separate fraud reports related to a company operating "advance fee loans."

These are loans where lenders require recipients pay an upfront fee before receiving money. Advance fee loans are illegal under Ontario law. 

According to Windsor police, all three reported instances of fraud began during online communication with what police believe is a fraudulent company presenting with a Windsor address.

"The fraudster will guarantee a loan to the victim and then ask for an upfront fee for the loan, sent through electronic means," reads an excerpt from the same Thursday media release. "Once the fee is received, the victim never receives the promised loan amount and is out the money."

The Better Business Bureau issued its own alert, warning Windsorites against using services offered by Sherwood Financial Service, claiming to operate out of 1214 Ottawa St. 

"BBB's investigation has found through information online, as well as through BBB Scam Tracker reports, that this company is offering loans for an advance fee," the Bureau's alert reads.

"After paying advance fees that range from a couple hundred to several thousand dollars, consumers never received the loan promised by the company."

The Bureau said it attempted to connect with Sherwood through email by posing as a potential customer. However, Sherwood didn't respond to the BBB's attempts. 

Though the Bureau was able to confirm that Sherwood's website was registered on July 22, 2019, they were unable to ascertain the website's owners.

The BBB also confirmed with the address's property manager that Sherwood Financial Services is not a tenant at the stated address.

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