- Report: #123143
Report - Rebuttal - Arbitrate
Complaint Review: First Life
First Life33 Elm St. Champlain, New York U.S.A.
First Life Ripoff mimicking Dominion Financial Centurion Credit Rebuilding is actually Credit Fraud Champlain New York
I am a financial services professional in Charlotte, NC, and I received a call from "First Life" recently. I was immediately suspcious. Being someone who has experience in the finance industry (including credit, lending), I found this to be particularly revolting. I am not sure if First Life is working synonymously as "Centurion" or "Dominion Financial", however, I am quite sure that illegal fradulent activity is taking place, and I am devoting every free moment I have of convenience to taking them down. I thank goodness, was not taken advantage of by this organization, but hope to educate those who were, and also those will might be with this posting.
Let me describe my experience. I was eating dinner, and received a call. A young male, sounding very inexperienced, rushed, explained to me that I had applied for credit sometime in the last 6 months and was denied and they were a 2nd chance organization helping people rebuild credit with a standard issue VISA, with a credit limit of up to $2,000. I immediately was suspicious, considering the fact I have a perfectly good beacon, and I haven't applied for credit in the last 2 years since I bought my 2nd home. But, I decided to probe further out of curiosity. I told him to explain the card to me. I stopped him midway, as it seemed as if he was reading off the fine print of any VISA card (talking about late payments, grace period, etc), and I asked him a simple question. "Whats the interest rate on balance transfers", he told me he did not know, and had never heard of that but would ask his supervisor. I then told him it was okay and I would look it up on their website, and asked for the URL. He said the website was down. I asked him for the URL anyway, and said I'd visit it in the future when maybe it was up. He said he didnt know what the URL was. I then asked to speak to his supervisor. Another young male came on the line, and explained what the other had just explained about the organization helping people and if I was not intersted he'd simply take me out of their system. I asked him how he got my information, and exactly where he got it from and he explained that I had applied for credit and they received my application and were in the high risk credit market helping people rebuild credit. (Again, this is false. I never applied for credit. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, organizations must diclose where they receive personal information used in their decision process for approving or denying credit, since this was pre-approved, it would hold true here; they must disclose where they got my information from to approve me of this VISA. Of course, they did not want to disclose this, as they probably stole it, or bought it). I then asked him what the interest rate on balance transfers was and he explained to me that there wasnt one. This seemed odd--no interest rate on balance transfers from a creditor in the high risk market? What a deal! I told him to explain further. As he was talking I zoned him out and listened to the "busy office" noise in the background. What appeared to be a busy call-center, revealed something that enfuriated me. It was a loop. Thats right folks, that noise you hear in the background is fake--its playing over and over again to simulate a busy office. I then asked him for the URL of their website and he did not know what it was. I asked him for their customer service phone number, and he gave me the number listed above. I then asked him who was issuing the VISA, and he told me an FDIC insured bank (Bank of America, Wells Fargo) as he explained. The only catch--a $299 membership fee drafted from my checking account. This was enough for me I told him I was not interested and hung up. But my investigating was not over.
I quickly called the customer service number he had given me and noticed something strange. The customer service line does not identify the organization, or the required by law statement (...your call may be monitored for quality assurance). Consider this, wouldn't a large financial/credit company with an office as busy as theirs sounded monitor their calls for training purposes, (i.e., Wachovia's Charlotte call-center employs 1,200 people... they MUST monitor calls to train other agents on properly handling calls). That told me immediately this was a small, and loosely run operation. It also further cemented the fact it must be a scam. After the ladies voice tells me I've reached customer service it rolls into a voicemail box, that is full.
I frantically searched online for a website. There actually DOES exist a First Life company--It's a life insurance company. In Jamaica.
I have submitted a report to the FBI via their TIPS form on their website, as well as in writing and requested they be fowarded immediately to the Bank & Credit Fraud departments.
First Life is not listed as a member of BBB NY, or NC, so I have submitted their names to the BBB, as a fraudelent organization.
I have cc'd copies of these submissions to the state attorney generals office in NY and NC. I also fowarded them to the FTC, FCC, and the Department of Justice.
I will continue to follow this, until First Life is out of busy. I'll make it a hobby of mine. If someone doesnt, they'll continue to rip people off.
I encourage everyone who encounters this organization to submit tips, or complaints to the BBB, FBI, FTC, FCC, and your states Attorney General's office. Also contact banks (Bank of America, Wachovia, Wells Fargo) letting them know of this fraudelent organization, selling so-called standard issue VISA's claiming to represent them.
Thanks, and good luck to everybody.
Charlotte, North Carolina
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/16/2004 07:41 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/First-Life/Champlain-New-York/First-Life-Ripoff-mimicking-Dominion-Financial-Centurion-Credit-Rebuilding-is-actually-Cre-123143. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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