This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
$1 buys you full access to ALL of TheStreet's Subscription Services! Learn More

Fake Bank Scam Targets Consumers Rebuilding Credit

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- A scam being operated through an imaginary bank is being used to steal money from consumers seeking to rebuild their credit ratings by signing up for secured credit cards.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on Friday in a letter directed to all executives of U.S. banks, as well as federal and state regulators warned that "an entity entitled Freedom Gold Club is claiming to be associated with a national bank named Freedom 1st National Bank," which doesn't even exist.

The OCC is the primary regulator of nationally chartered U.S. banks and savings and loan associations.

The regulator said "Freedom 1st National Bank is a fictitious entity used as part of a scheme that involves soliciting consumers for semi-secured credit cards through the U.S. mail."

The fake bank targets consumers through direct mail offers of semi-secured credit cards, with customers required to make deposits of $500 to $900.

Legitimate secured credit cards do indeed require customers to make deposits, and in return provide actual credit lines, helping customers rebuild credit scores. Customers can eventually withdraw their deposits after their credit scores improve, or they can simply pay their credit balances to zero, close the accounts and get their deposits back.

But in the case of "Freedom 1st National Bank," consumers have been sending in checks and signing program agreements, only to see their deposits disappear.

"The checks are cashed by an individual using the name of Bradford C. Ege II, and the victims never receive the anticipated credit card," the OCC said.

The phony "Freedom 1st National Bank" has also been claiming to be affiliated with a real bank, Credit One Bank, N.A., of Las Vegas, which offers credit cards and is regulated by the OCC. The regulator took pains to make clear that "Credit One Bank, N.A., has no connection" with the "Freedom 1st National Bank" scam.

The regulator requested that anyone with information on the "fraudulent entity... purportedly located at 601 NE 11th Street, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.," contact the OCC via email at occalertresponses@occ.treas.gov.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,810.06 +91.06 0.51%
S&P 500 2,063.50 +10.75 0.52%
NASDAQ 4,712.97 +11.1030 0.24%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs