Montana Authorities Hunt New Phony CUScam

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HELENA, Mont. - (08/06/04) -- The state Division of Banking andFinancial Institutions is searching for a new group advertisingphony credit unions but to no avail, so far. The state regulatorissued a cease and desist order last Friday against fourindividuals who sought, unsuccessfully, to run an ad in the GreatFalls Tribune advertising cut-rate loans through bogus creditunions, but the C&D orders were returned because the Kalispelladdresses the scamsters left were phony too, according to AnnieGoodwin, the state's commissioner of banking. The scam is similarto one that spread through more than 20 states over 18 months inwhich two Toronto-area residents used bogus credit union names,like Heartland CU, Century CU, First Rate CU, Zurich CU, andContinental CU, to solicit hundreds of thousands of dollars fromunsuspecting American victims. The latest suspects are alsobelieved to be Canadian, or at least based in Canada, according toGoodwin. But in the latest case, authorities believe they may havecaught the scamsters before they were able to victimize anyone, atleast in Montana. "So far, we have not heard of any money beingbilked from Montana consumers," Goodwin told The Credit UnionJournal.

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