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January 10, 2012 | last updated January 10, 2012 1:47 pm

State warns against phony lender

Maine's Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection is warning consumers about a phony consumer loan company falsely claiming to be located in Belgrade.

Crestridge Capital has a website claiming to be based in Belgrade, but its address corresponds to a vacant single-family house on Depot Road, according to the bureau. The company is not registered in Maine as a consumer lender, and is not listed with corporate filings in the Secretary of State's office or Belgrade town officials. The company promised one consumer a $5,000 loan at 7% interest with a three-year payback term, but then asked for a $770 upfront payment, leading her to contact the bureau.

David Leach, the bureau's principal examiner, said such bogus lenders usually direct consumers to wire funds to Canada or another foreign country, making it hard to recover the money. He encouraged consumers to seek out many of Maine's reputable licensed lenders and never wire or mail certified funds to unknown lenders.

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