Online loan scam targets Idaho

A fake company, Lending Hands of Idaho Inc., tried to bilk Idahoans with fraudulent online loan offers, according to Idaho Department of Finance.

The fake company claims to be located in Boise, but it appears to be located in Africa, the department said Friday. The bogus company pirated information from the website of a legitimate Michigan-based business, Lending Hands of Michigan Inc.

Lending Hands of Idaho is running an advance fee loan scam, the department said. A victim made two advance payments to the fake company for a promised loan. The victim communicated by email with the fake lender, who referred to himself as Kevin. To continue the ruse, “Kevin” emailed what he represented as his own driver’s license, a commercial license that appeared to have been stolen from an unsuspecting Boise resident.

Finance investigators worked to get the domain server of the fake website shut down, but Director Gavin Gee said the scammer may resurface with a new name.

“The department urges consumers to be extremely cautious when dealing with companies they are not familiar with,” Gee said.