This report is being written as the result of a financial fraud that was committed against me by Avenue Financial Group (AFG) which actually does not exist but the address they provide on their letterhead is 595 Stewart Avenue, Garden City, NY 11530. The telephone number that was used during all communications is 866.403.6662 and the fax number that was used is 516.977.1030. Their website is www.avenuefinancial.net. The names of the two people that I spoke with are Brenda Olsen (x384) and Dennis Crown (x0)
On December 5, 2008 I conducted an online search for a long term personal loan. I immediately recognized that name Lending Tree and decided to check further into the process required to obtain a loan. All that was required was that I fill out an application consisting of personal information such as my social security number and address. On December 9, 2008 I was contacted by Brenda Olsen who stated that I had been approved for a $5,000 loan through Avenue Financial Group based out of New York. Brenda explained that because this was a secured loan that I would need to provide collateral for insurance purposes as stated in the faxed agreement. The collateral required consisted of and was equal to 5 monthly payments totaling $1,107.20 and since I was making such a large payment upfront that I would not need to begin repaying the loan until June of 2009. I reviewed the documents numerous times and even checked out their website. Everything appeared to be completely legitimate. I borrowed money against my 401K account in order to pay for the collateral. On December 15, 2008 I contacted Brenda Olsen to inform her that I had the payment required to secure the loan. Brenda explained that the lender was located in Canada and that I needed to wire the funds directly to them. I asked Brenda how to wire the money since I had never wired money before. She told me to go to Wal-Mart and ask for a red and white form called a Money Gram. I was to send the monies to Christine Osborne in Thompson, MB, Canada. Because the fee was going to be $22.00 Brenda told me to simply send $1,100 and the remaining monies would be credited to my loan. I followed all of these instructions and contacted Brenda to provide her with the reference number. Brenda stated that the $5,000 loan would be directly deposited into my account on December 16, 2008.
On the morning of December 16, 2009 I received a phone message from Dennis Crown who identified himself as the customer service manager of AFG. Dennis stated in this message that there had been a slight problem with my loan and needed to contact him immediately. Upon contacting Dennis, I learned that the lender after reassessing my loan needed to purchase an additional $1,100 in insurance to secure the loan. My other option was to receive a full refund but that I would not be able to receive this refund until January 5, 2009. I didn't have any money and spent the entire day thinking about my options. I contacted Brenda Olsen who appeared to be completely unaware of the situation and stated that Dennis was a good man and would take good care of me. Brenda also stated that Dennis needed to speak with me again. I contacted Dennis once again who stated that he had spoken with the lender and that they would work something out with me for an additional $800 instead of the original $1,100 to secure the loan. I borrowed the money from a friend and promised to repay him the following day once I received the loan. Once again, I wired the $800 to Christine Osborne in Thompson, MB, Canada through a Money Gram at Wal-Mart. Because the amount wired was less than $800, I was only required to pay $14.16 for the Money Gram fee.
I shared this information with a friend who began to research the company online. She found reports posted by others that matched the same experience. These individuals stated that the money was never deposited into their checking accounts after making two collateral payments. I knew at that point that I had been deceived. I contacted my local police department who filed a report with Financial Crimes.
The following day I closed my checking account because they had my checking account number in order to transfer the loan. I also contacted all three credit bureaus to prevent identity theft since they had a copy of my passport (government ID) and my social security number.
Would you believe that Dennis Crown had the nerve to contact me a third time? This time he stated that they would provide me with a $10,000 loan but that I needed to pay an additional 10 monthly payments. I told him no and demanded a refund in the amount of $1,900. He informed me that a refund would be made on January 5, 2009 but since the company doesn't exist I know that I will never see this money again unless someone finds these criminals and prosecutes them to the fullest extent possible. I am in complete distress, further in debt than I've ever been, and have no idea how I will function emotionally or financially in the next coming weeks and months.
Scammed by avenue financial group in new york