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ILA TimesI pulls ads for bogus First Star CU
LOS ANGELES (4/16/09)--The Los Angeles Times has pulled ads for a fake credit union after readers called the newspaper and said they could not access the credit union’s website. Readers also found negative comments about First Star CU online (Los Angeles Times April 15). The address given in the advertisement is the address of a shopping mall, the newspaper said. The Times pulled the ad from its Monday and Tuesday editions. The advertising department “verified that the website was not working and the phone was not working,” newspaper spokesman John Conroy said. Other newspapers also have pulled the advertisement, the Times said. The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Wednesday issued an alert about First Star CU and an advance fee loan scam. NCUA encouraged anyone who has been victimized by the loan scam to contact the agency. Friday News Now reported that the Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation (OFIR) issued a cease-and-desist order against a fake credit union, “First Star CU,” claiming to be a Pennsylvania-based credit union. OFIR said the institution is a fraudulent financial institution. News Now reported this week that the Pennsylvania Department of Banking issued a consumer scam alert about First Star CU. The department warned about an advance fee loan scam after two consumers who applied to First Star and First Star Lending Services for loans were asked to pay several hundred dollars in upfront fees (Life is a Highway April 10). “First Star Lending Services” and “First Star Credit Union,” claim to be located at 1800 Loucks Rd., Suite 850, York, Pa. However, no such address exists there. First Star Lending Services claims to offer first and second mortgages, consumer loans and other financial products, but it is not licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Banking. There is no First Star CU chartered by state or federal regulators, the department said.


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