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First Financial Lenders / Advance Fee Loan Scam

1 Toronto, Ontario, Canada Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: 1-888-209-7455

have been applying for a personal loan and was contacted via email by Joanne Ward at First Financial Lenders. I called the number listed in the email and spoke with Joanne. She had me fax a copy of my driver's liscense, social security card, and paycheck stub to her company. I received a call back the following day stating I was approved for a loan of $8000.00, but I would need one of the following; a co-signer who made over $60000.00 a year, a car that was a 2006 or higher, or an insurance blanket of $956.00. She then told me that I qualified for a discount to the blanket and only needed the $670.00 upfront. I western unioned the 670.00 plus 59.00 in fees on 03/28/2008 to Quianne Patterson. I then called Joanne who said everything went through and the funds would be deposited into my account within 6-12 hours. On 03/31/2008, I still had not received my funds, so I contacted First Financial Lenders who told me Joanne was on vacation. They connected me to a Brittany Cooper, who told me that they would need an addtional 550.00 before my loan could be released because I was a U.S citizen and also the fact that Joanne should not have given me a discount. I then wired an additional 550.00 plus 42.00 in fees via western union again to Quianne Patterson. I called back and was told everything looked good and I should receive my funds within the hour. The hour came and went and still no funds. I contacted First Financial Lenders again on 04/01/08 and was told more money was still needed because I was a high credit risk. At this point, I asked them to refund the money already sent to them. They stated it would take 15-30 days to process the refund. After further research on this company, I have found some names used previously by these individuals for the same scam. They have operated under the name of All State Financial, Second Chance Financial Group, Great North American Lending, and First Canadian Financial.

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  • Ki
      19th of Apr, 2008
    0 Votes

    Is this company in any way associated with Nationwide Lending?
    Sounds very much like what is happening to me right now. This company is listed, and has a very legit looking website.
    Down at the bottom page of this website (you can only find it through the e-mail link to by the way)
    There is a company listed as First Financial Lenders out of Toronto.
    BEWARE! best of luck to you. I know where your coming from.

  • Je
      1st of May, 2008
    0 Votes


    I was wondering if you ever received your refund back? I at first thought this was a legit company until Joanne started explaining everything to me. I am glad I was able to find your article on this. Thank you so much for posting this and saving me the trouble of coming up with the money. Everything you mention above from Joanne was to a tee, except that I have never been able to contact anyone in Customer Service not one time and it is very rare that I was able to speak with Joanne directly. She never responds to my emails and then tells me to email her as she is so extremely busy. I'm sure busy that is tricking people out of their hard earned money.

    Also to let you know that if you look around, please don't get hooked into a company called Lexington Financial Solutions based in Lexington, KY. They are the same type of company, but try to get $1100 from you to send to Canada to a person and not a buisness!

    Thank you!

  • Va
      1st of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    I unfortunately have been scammed by a similary company, Everest Financial in Toronto Ontario this past weekend. They unfortunately received $979.00 and again yesterday $650.00. The same situation for an $8, 000 loan - not received within 1-3 hours direct deposited into my account. At this point, I don't what to do - sue them? Will I get any results? It's worth a shot.

  • Ke
      15th of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    Everest Financial got me too...
    same deal, $987 and then $640. I have been waiting on a promised refund(I will never see it) for 3 weeks now. They promised to expedite and "Janet Murphy" was the supervisor that I talked to also.

    Please don't get sucked by this. They use soft spoken women to make you feel comfortable and then just give you runaround after runaround. Emails are never answered nor are phone calls never answered.

    It sounds from the other complaints that this company has used other names before.

    Can anyone tell me what the heck I can do to get my hard earned money back?

  • Te
      17th of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    Send complaint to ...

    Ministry of Small Business and Consumer Services

    Consumer Protection Branch
    5775 Yonge Street, Suite 1500
    Toronto, Ontario, M7A 2E5

  • Te
      17th of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    Spread the word...Close down this and similar companies ...and lets all hope that Consumer protection branch will get our money back!

  • Ra
      22nd of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    BEWARE...there are several companies out there doing this scam. I was notified via email and phone that I was approved for a $50, 000 business loan but needed to purchase an insurance policy or use another form of collateral. Some guy named Glen called me from New York, according to him, but he had a Canadian accent. he asked for $1150 to be sent to a person in Canada then the funds would be released in 1-2 hours..This is a scam so do not fall for it. I called the BBB in NY to file a formal compaint and they said they never heard of this company...

  • Tc
      2nd of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    On 7/1/09 I sent over $1, 000 to Bethany Stewart out of Calgary Canada from 1st American Lenders on the pretense of receiving a $5, 000 personal loan, on 7/2/09 I received a phone call requesting me so send them another $1, 000 because they pulled my credit report and said I was high risk so they needed a total of 8 months worth of payments upfront instead of 4 months which was previously agreed upon. I've never had a personal loan nor do I know how it all works but I thought it seemed odd that I needed to send them money up front, than once they asked me to send them money a second time lots of red flags went off and I backed out of the loan and they than said it would take up to 45 days to get my refund. I started doing some more research which I should of done first, (WON'T EVER HAPPEN AGAIN!!) and it turns out the address doesn't even exist, they have numerous complaint filed against them, they are using multiple business names to fool people, these people are CON-ARTISTS DO NOT SEND THEM ANY MONEY!!! IT IS A SCAM CONTACT YOUR LOCAL AUTHORITIES IMMEDIATELY AND ALSO FILE A COMPLAINT WITH

    Ministry of Small Business and Consumer Services
    Consumer Protection Branch
    5775 Yonge Street, Suite 1500
    Toronto, Ontario, M7A 2E5

    We need to get businesses and people like this shut down immediately and for good. Don't be a victim like me, do your research and never send anyone money that you don't know and trust.

  • Tw
      13th of Sep, 2013
    0 Votes

    I want to spread the word about There # is 800-651-9712. based out of Chicage IL . Their address is 55 Upper Wacker Drive Chicago, IL 60651. I googled this address and it's a business building with Lakeside Bank, I did a street view with Google looking at the signs on the window of the building and one of the signs were blurred out. On Google, it indicated what's at this location and I didn't see First Chance Financial listed. You can always call these places and ask if this business is located there, but I haven't done it yet since I've had enough evidence that this is a scam. Their Senior Loan Division Manager is Kelly M Andrews, there were only 2 girls that helped me and they sound like very " nice young girls."

    After applying online on 8/19/2013, I had a call on my voice message the following day from one of these girls saying that I was pre-approved for my request for the 5000.00 loan and they just needed some more information to process the loan.
    On 8/20, first girl I dealt with to find out about the details of this loan was Sandra Collins ( She sent me the first email with an attachment with the 4 page document I needed to sign and documents I needed to send them. These documents requested were proof of income, proof of address, proof of ID like drivers license and also my social security card. I thought it was odd the email mispelled license too. It was spelled licence. It also indicated to not forget to send my banking info if I require a deposit (Voided check). When I called Sandra this day she was talking very fast and acted like she was extremely busy, I couldn't even ask her all the questions and details of the loan and she just insisted to email me the info and the documents. Also, Sandra said due to a few issues on my credit report i have to pay 3 months worth of payments ahead along with the broker and administration fees which all equal out to 500.00 exactly or get a co-signer with a 700 credit score or above if I didn't want to pay the 3 months. I thought it was odd that the fees were made out to where it calculated to exactly 500.00. 307.02 for my 3 months payments and 192.98 for their fees. Wouldn't the fees be an even 100, 150.00 or 200.00 why would it be 192.98? The attached docs indicated that after all documents have been submitted and money paid through money gram or wire transfer, my loan requested will be deposited in my bank about 2-4 hours after. Money gram and wire transfer is a red flag to me, why couldn't I pay on their website or with a debit card by phone?
    Next day 8/21, after reviewing the email and documents, I called them again and another female picked up the phone, her name was Kelly. She said Sandra was off that day so she can help me as well. She asked if Sandra told me where to send the money gram I said no. She said to fill out the money gram payable to Steve Smith, 375 University Ave Toronto Canada.. It's a private lender and after I pay, they will send me a welcome package and that's who I will be dealing with next. I asked her how to correctly fill out the forms on one of the pages and she said, you don't have to sign the forms just email Sandra back indicating that I've read the forms and I want to proceed with this loan. Another red flag to me, forms are legal docs you have to sign. I also asked Kelly if I can fax the paperwork to her and she said no, email, they want to keep it all electronic..which means for me I have to go home and scan all my docs into my laptop then email it to them. Faxing would be way easier for me. I called her back and said, I'm not comfortable sending money to a Steve Smith that I know nothing about. Is this person and this company legitimate. She say's did you research us, lenders we deal are million and billion dollar companies and they've been checked thoroughly.
    Next day 8/22, I tried to scan the documents into my laptop this morning but it was giving me trouble. I only planned to send them documents first and pay only when I felt they were legitimate. The scanning didn't work so I just stopped doing it knowing I needed to do more research on this company anyway. So this same day I was at work, Sandra calls and leaves a message on my phone, in a tone I'm not sure is very professional. Another red flag, it say's an "unknown" call on my phone. She says I see that you've talked to someone yesterday because I see notes in the system, but we need this contract wrapped up. Tonight I called at 9:35 pm to hear the automated system and one of the girls picked up the phone. The place suppose to close at 8:00 PM. I hung up the phone thinking this was unusual as well.

    The next day or two, one of the girls called me to ask if I will proceed with this and I said no. I am glad I did the research and did not get scammed, but I wanted to write this to help others who are victims of these scammers stealing all these innocent people's money! I recently emailed them and said that they were scammers, let's see if I get a response. Thank you to the first post on here, it helped me to stop and do more research because the story was almost alike, different company names, but same way of how they were scamming people. Thank you.

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