Liberty One Financial Complaint - Misleading direct mail solicitation
NEW JERSEY -- I recently received an unsolicited direct mail piece from Liberty One Financial, Inc. out of Philadelphia. The opening line of the letter was written as if my current bank had done a review that would allow me to lower my mortgage payments. The letter included a check for $350. There was a toll free number that said "call a loan specialist today at Liberty One Financial and have your personal ID ready. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week." My complaint and warning? My mortgage company had nothing to do with the letter; the 24 hour line is an answering machine; and the check is bogus. To the unsuspecting consumer, the check looks real. There is nothing on this check that immediately tells the recipient they can't cash the check. My first assumption until I re-read the letter was that my mortgage company was giving me a refund because the letter says "your property and loan has been reviewed." It irritates me that Liberty One Financial is allowed to prey on naive by sending checks that a desperate person would cash. The rep who returned the message I left on the answering machine said there is a statement at the bottom of the check to notify a bank or customer that it isn't real.
I found it after I held the check up to the light. At the bottom of the check there is a blue border with white type with the standard "official" notification that the check has a watermark to prevent fraud/reproduction. The "redeem at settlement notification" is stamped in tiny black type over this blue border -- it looks like a smudge. There is no doubt in my mind that I could have taken that check to any bank and cashed it against my bank account. Too late, I would have found out that the check was bogus and I would have been out the "insufficient funds" fees from my bank as well as the $350 that I would have had to repay my bank because the check would have been returned. This kind of solicitation is inexcusable and is designed to mislead.
To Liberty One Financial -- do you really think I would do business with a company with this kind of deceptive solicitation?