Business Loan Scams/Spam

Anyone get these business loan spam calls lately? It seems like there has been an influx of them calling without caller ID (or a spoofed number), but asking you to call 949-426-7099 . I’m not telling you what to do with that number but if you have a lemonade stand that needs some funding, maybe they can help :smiley:

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It’s worse than just spam. It’s a scam. I have been hammered by them and finally started digging. Before I elaborate, other callback numbers they use are 949-326-9435 and 845-286-3736

Fasten your seatbelt:
The so-called “company” uses spoofed robocalls that automatically go directly to voicemails. The voicemail purports to be “Michael calling you back” though no call was ever made to “the company” for a callback. The callback number given (different from the CallerID) is answered by people as “Pinehurst Funding” who refuse to provide information about the company until they get your email address, Tax ID number, the owner’s personal Social Security number and 6 months of bank statements. After providing them a burner email I got two emails one telling me to send them 6 months of bank statements and a screenshot of what looks like a phone screen cap showing the address which was, I guess, supposed to prove they’re legitimate.
When pushed to prove they’re a legitimate business (such as asking for business license or Secretary of State entity number) they ignore and refer to their website (www.pinehurstfunding.com) as if the website alone is proof. They and the website claim to be located at 1001 Wilshire Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90017. However, the leasing agent/building manager confirmed that no such business is located there - verify at https://www.wilshire1001.com - 310-919-1001 (this is a legitimate business not part of the Pinehurst scam don’t harass)
Pinehurst Funding is the next iteration of ZR Consulting dba US Capital (USCapco.com) which shutdown shortly after a BBB investigation into similar spoofed robocalls and allegation that the company took $2,500 of someone’s money then stopped communicating with them (https://www.bbb.org/us/ca/anaheim/profile/financial-services/zr-consulting-llc-1126-1000058128).

ZR Consulting is suspended by the California Franchise Tax Board for “failure to meet tax requirements (e.g., failure to file a return, pay taxes, penalties, interest)” Business Search - Business Entities - Business Programs | California Secretary of State. Their address is shown as 1661 N. Raymond Ave ste 265, Anaheim, CA. 92801. Pinehurst Funding has NO Secretary of State record (doing business without a license).

Pinehurst Funding’s website was a downloaded template from Git Hub Finloans The bottom of the page reads " This template is made with by Colorlib. An artifact of PinehurstFunding.com was located at http://3.131.18.86 The home page contains the template’s placeholder info. However, the apply and hiring pages (http://3.131.18.86/apply.html and http://3.131.18.86/hiring.html) both show an address of 1661 N Raymond Ave #265, Anaheim CA 92801 which is the identical address of the suspended ZR Consulting. A WhoIs search reveals that domain (3.131.18.86) was created one month after the BBB investigation into ZR Consulting. PinehurstFunding.com WhoIs shows a created date of July 2021 just 90 days ago (though the “employees” claim to have been in business for over 10 years). I managed to social engineer one employee into revealing Pinehurst Funding use to be US Capital.

A man named Zachary Ramirez is listed as ZR Consulting’s sole managing director on their California Secretary of State filings. Furthermore, he describes his title as CEO of US Capital on his LinkedIn profile. He has a vimeo video in case you’re into cringe Cold Call Basics! What you need to know. on Vimeo

Pinehurst Funding posted a job opening on ZipRecruiter.com 24 days ago also listing their address as 1661 N Raymond Ave #265, Anaheim CA 92801. Oddly, they don’t require a professional license for lending which I think is a requirement (I could be wrong). ZipRecruiter has been made aware of all the facts and seem very interested in investigating.

In any event, the people answering the phones gather information but admit they’ve never personally witnessed an actual loan closed. They’re likely in a foreign call center (Mexico?) as all have Spanish accents and names like Juan Castro, Gustavo Restrepo etc. If they’re fake names, they use the same one consistently. I’ve come to recognize their voice over the course of the last week and a half. One thing that never changes is that you’ll NEVER be allowed to speak with a manager or get business license information no matter how much you play the part of a sincere potential customer.