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Scam Alert: Hardship loan phone calls

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Updated 11/9/2022: include a video post featuring a few phone calls. Video added in the center of the post.

Updated 8/1/2022 to add a follow-up call from Marcus.

I had a very odd and somewhat fishy-sounding message left on my cellphone earlier today. It was in regards to a hardship loan.

First off I have no idea why the number was calling me and secondly, I didn’t want to apply for any loans. Thirdly the call sounded like the caller was trying to disguise their voice.

red flags galore 🚩🚩🚩

The thing that raised red flags for me is that the call was from a number in Florida. I live on the other side of the country so why would FL be calling me?

Also the way the caller sounded. The call sounds legit but it also sounds like the caller is trying to disguise their voice. Similar to when people use computer software to make their voice higher or deeper.

The Hardship loan of up to 37 hundred dollars was also something that gave me pause. I have no need for a loan. Marcus also never states which company they are with just the hardship department.

my video post on this topic featuring a new call from 11/2/2022

Intro:0:00 info on the scam:0:46 Call recording: 1:42 what you can do: 3:00

The call

The call came from 941-265-4582. From what I could find on Google 941 is a Florida-based area code.

I found a similar phone call from this number featuring Marcus as the caller via RoboKiller.

here’s the recording of the left voicemail message.

Original hardship loan call from Marcus

hey it’s Marcus with the financial hardship Department I’m not sure if you’d spoken to an assigned agent yet regarding our hardship program but I do see that you’re approved for hardship loan of up $37 hundred dollars so what I’m going to do is keep this in a pending status and if you have about 5 minutes today go ahead and give me a call back so we can go over the details my number is 209-849-0713. Again my number is 209-849-0713 and anyone can help you out in case I’m busy. Hope this helps talk to you soon.

phone message text

The call-back number

Oddly enough if the original call was from Florida why not have the callback number have a Northern California area code?

I’d have to say it’s a phishing scam. Or a way to obtain financial info on a person. That way they can use it for ID fraud or other types of financial fraud.

Added 8/1/2022

a follow-up call

This call was made using a New Mexico area code of 575. The full number is 575-205-5404. The call-back number that is given is also a Northern California area code. 209-563-1374

Hardship loan phone call 2 a follow up

Hey it’s Marcus following up again with the financial hardship department. I’m not sure if you spoken to and if I’m reaching out regarding our hardship programs but to see that you’re still approved for a hardship loan of up to $37,000. So whatever you do is keep you in a pending status. If you have about five minutes today to give me a call back so we can go over the details. My number is 209-563-1374. Again my number is 209-563-1374 and anyone can help you out here in case I’m busy. Hope this helps talk to you soon.

Marcus phone call text

As I mentioned above why would Marcus use an out-of-state number to contact me and then give you an in-state number as a follow-up?

Also if Marcus is the primary person who is in charge of your loan why is that anyone can help you? Once again no company name is ever given aside from “The Hardship department”.

I did a quick google search and the call-back number doesn’t seem to exist. I did find it listed as spam from a phone number lookup website.

Please don’t return the call

You’d be surprised at how many people call back numbers they don’t know. If you heard the voicemail and have no idea what the hardship department is and/or didn’t apply for any loans don’t call this number back.

209-849-0713 seems to be popular with this scam and other scam calls. I’ve had a few 209 area code numbers call me about energy-saving rebates and other Robocalls.

I received a follow-up call today. It is along the lines of the original call claiming I’ve been approved for $37 hundred USD loan. Again Marcus says if I have 5 minutes he or someone else at the hardship department can help me out.

What is this scam?

No matter which numbers if it’s the original 941 number or the 209 number. Don’t call them back.

according to the FTC

According to the FTC, it’s illegal for companies to contact you to over the phone to offer you debt relief or loans, or credit repair services.

You can visit the link to read more about it.

Things you can do

You can block the phone number if your cell service offers that option. You can also report it as spam if that is offered as well.

You can also report these calls to the FTC.

Stay safe and don’t fall for these types of calls.

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