Over the weekend, I got an offer for some kind of goofy mortgage refinance deal — one of at least a dozen a week I receive. Normally, I just open, rip up, and destroy the offer. For some reason, this time I read the crazy notice.
The first line indicated I was already an account holder of the “sender”, First Ohio Banc & Lending, Inc. What? I’d never had any dealings with anything called that, and that started setting off the alarms.
So, I talked to someone claiming to be a loan officer of some kind at the toll-free number they listed, and had an interesting convo. Apparently, this lender doesn’t actually send these out — it’s someone who buys the data for appropriate scores from one or more of the credit bureaus, and then sends it out on behalf of the lender. They don’t even know to whom these notices are sent.
I told him that the letter was misleading, and sure implied that I had an account. His response was that I do have an account somewhere at the “credit union” — he actually meant “credit bureau” and continued to make that mistake throughout our chat. I told him that any rational person would read this, and see that they had an to-them-unknown account with this lender. Of course, nowadays, that could mean identity theft. This yahoo actually downplayed the identity theft element, saying that identity theft reports were way overplayed in the United States.
So, they gain the benefit of the new business, but have plausible deniability when crazy letters like this one are mailed out.
The beauty thing? This company doesn’t actually do lending. Yep. They are a loan consolidator, and don’t offer loans to individuals, despite the offer in my hand. I even confirmed with a statement like “You mean First Ohio Banc & Lending doesn’t actually do lending?” The voice on the other end of the phone sheepishly acknowledged that that was the case.
Given that, I’m not even sure what this offer is for, but it’s for something, and I dinna like it!
Amazing! Needless to say, I called the credit bureau opt-out number, and deleted myself from the pre-approved offer rolls. In this day and age of quick credit and identity theft, I’m really surprised that I opt-in by use of any credit, which means everyone opts-in to this trash, and that I have to opt-out, and even then, that only lasts for five years.
I tell ya, I want a business where it’s all benefit and no liability!!!! 🙂