Avoiding Storm Chasing Scam Artists

Following the widespread destruction caused by tornados, flooding and hail in Nebraska Monday evening, Attorney General Doug Peterson is warning residents that home repair and cleanup frauds are especially common after natural disasters hit. Unfortunately, these storms tend to attract con artists and criminals who are hoping to take advantage of distressed car and homeowners.

Western Sky Settlement

Consumer Relief

Nebraska residents who received a loan from Western Sky Financial, LLC between March 1, 2011 and the present are entitled to relief from a settlement obtained by the Attorney General’s Office and the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance.

If you received a loan from Western Sky Financial, LLC, the relief you can obtain depends on the status of your loan.

 

Attorney General and Director of Banking Announce Settlement with Western Sky

Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson and Director of the Department of Banking and Finance Mark Quandahl announce today that they have reached a settlement that requires unlicensed internet loan companies to pay restitution, forgive current debts, notify credit reporting agencies for credit history repair, and discontinue lending in Nebraska.

In the State’s action against CashCall, Inc., Delbert Services Corporation, WS Funding, LLC, and their owner J. Paul Reddam, and Western Sky Financial, LLC, and its owner Martin A. Webb, the State alleged that Western Sky Financial, LLC worked with CashCall, Inc. as an unlicensed lender, making usurious internet loans to over 2,400 Nebraskans with annual percentage rates ranging from 89 to 342% and charging unlawful origination and other fees. 

AG Peterson to Serve on NAAG Special Committee on Charities

Attorney General Doug Peterson has been appointed to serve as co-chair of a new Special Charities Committee of the National Association of Attorneys General.  The Committee, which held its first meeting yesterday, was formed because of the importance of a transparent and accountable charitable sector and the responsibility of state attorneys general in ensuring that the public interest in charitable funds and purposes is upheld and protected.

Sham Cancer Charities Settlement

Attorney General Doug Peterson, along with the Federal Trade Commission and agencies from all 50 states, obtained a permanent injunction to dissolve two nationwide sham cancer charities and ban their president from profiting from any charity fundraising in the future under a settlement filed in U.S. District Court in Arizona. 

Text Message Scam: Imposter Acting as Pinnacle Bank

Attorney General Doug Peterson is issuing a consumer alert for Nebraskans to be wary of scam text messages. Consumers may be receiving text messages purporting to be from Pinnacle Bank, warning that unauthorized account activity has been detected. The message contains a link that opens up a webpage requesting the customer's name, card number and ATM pin number. The text and the website may look legitimate, but they are not. This is a fraudulent text message attempting to compromise your online user credentials to gain access to other identifying information. If you receive this unsolicited text message, do not reply or click on the web link, and delete it immediately.

AG Peterson & NSP Warn of Spear Phishing Scam

Over the last several days, city and county finance directors and small businesses across the state have been the subject of a targeted “spear phishing” attack. Spear phishers target select groups of people by masquerading as a trustworthy source through email or other forms of communication. The attacks have primarily targeted individuals from government and businesses that have control over finances.
The victim of the scam will receive an email that appears as if it is legitimately coming from his or her supervisor. The email requests the victim to wire or transfer funds from the entity’s financial account, and sometimes, the scammer expresses great urgency to rush the victim to action. The spoofed email address in the “From” line will be created with a forged sender address. Email spoofing is a technique that allows the scammer to imitate or trick the email recipient into thinking he or she is communicating with a trusted and regular contact within the organization.
 

New Consumer Protection Website Unveiled

Attorney General Doug Peterson unveiled the new Consumer Protection website during a press conference at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, March 7. National Consumer Protection week is this week (March 6-12), and the launching of the new website, protectthegoodlife.nebraska.gov and Twitter account @ProtectNE, promote awareness of issues related to consumer protection. 

The Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s Office protects Nebraskans from deceptive, unfair, and unconscionable trade practices, ensures fair competition between businesses, and is responsible for oversight of charitable assets and entities. It accomplishes this through education, mediation of consumer complaints, and enforcement.