State Agency Issues Consumer Protection Alert

“Crestridge Capital” is an Advance Fee Loan Scam, Not Located in Belgrade, Maine

GARDINER – Maine’s Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection is warning consumers about a phony consumer loan company falsely claiming to be located in Belgrade, Maine.  The Bureau has been contacted by consumers seeking information about Crestridge Capital, which claims to be based in Belgrade on a professional looking website (www.crestridgecapital.org). 

The company’s address, however, corresponds to a vacant single-family house on Depot Road near the municipal softball fields.  No lender is located at the claimed address.

The company promised one consumer a $5,000 loan at 7% interest with a three year payback term.  When the consumer was asked to make a lump sum payment of $770 up front, she became suspicious and contacted the Bureau.

“Crestridge Capital is not registered in Maine as a consumer lender,” said David Leach, Principal Examiner with the Bureau.  “It’s also not listed with corporate filings in the Secretary or State’s Office and town officials in Belgrade confirm that no such company is located at the address listed on the Crestridge website.”

Leach said if consumers follow-through with transactions of this kind from bogus lenders, they’re often directed to wire funds to Canada or another foreign country.  “Once the advance fee money is wired or mailed to the perpetrators, there is little chance of recovering those funds.”

The Bureau notes that Maine has many reputable licensed lenders, and advises consumers to never wire or mail certified funds to unknown lenders.  The Bureau recommends that consumers deal only with known, licensed lenders, and encourages Maine consumers to call the Bureau’s toll-free number (1-800-332-8529) to verify the license status of any lenders.  The Bureau also maintains a roster of licensed supervised lenders on its website, www.credit.maine.gov.

The Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection is part of Maine’s Department of Professional and Financial Regulation.  The Bureau licenses lenders, creditors and collectors; conducts periodic examinations of creditors to determine compliance with state laws; and responds to consumer complaints and inquiries.  The Office also conducts educational seminars to advise consumers and creditors of their legal rights and responsibilities.

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