The Better Business Bureau is investigating a loan company with a Downtown Santa Barbara address for fraud after receiving a number of complaints from customers saying they never received their money.
In a news release from the BBB titled “Universal Capital Loan of Santa Barbara is Looking to Lighten Your Bank Account!,” the BBB says complaints allege the loan company asks customers to apply online and the information requested includes personal and banking information.
The BBB adds that Universal Capital Loan falsely claims to be accredited by BBB and has hacked into the bank accounts of customers that apply for a loan from the business.
Universal Capital Loan has a listed address at 1324 State Street #177 in Santa Barbara, but the BBB says the business does not appear to be operating from the city.
“It appears the business is operating from outside the U.S.,” said the BBB news release. “BBB cautions consumers to never provide personal or bank information when they are not absolutely sure whom they are giving it to.”
We called the three phone numbers listed on the Universal Capital Loan website — California, New Jersey, Florida — and got a similar recording each time — a man with a recognizable Indian accent prompting the caller to leave their name and phone number so the company can contact them later.
The BBB says complaining consumers reported their bank accounts had been frozen due to being hacked, and no money was ever deposited. One person who filed a complaint even reported being asked to send a $70 cash card as a handling fee to Universal Capital Loan after his account was frozen, according to BBB.
The company has not responded to complaints sent by the BBB.
The Better Business Bureau is urging everyone to use extreme caution with this “company.”