August 12, 2015 / 3:40 PM / 2 years ago

U.S. charges data brokers in $7 million payday loan scam

WASHINGTON, Aug 12 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Trade Commission said on Wednesday it charged a data broker outfit with selling payday loan applicants’ financial information to scammers who took in millions of dollars by debiting bank accounts and charging credit cards.

The data brokers bought the loan applications and, instead of passing them to legitimate payday lenders, sold them to companies including Ideal Financial Solutions Inc, which bought 500,000 applications and raided the accounts for at least $7.1 million, the FTC said.

“Scammers used consumer information they bought from this operation to make millions in unauthorized charges,” said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Companies that collect people’s sensitive information and give it to scammers can expect to hear from the FTC.” (Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Will Dunham)

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