By Julie Watts

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — In the market for a loan? Beware of a nationwide loan scam with a California agency at the center.

Scammers are impersonating the California department of insurance with a sophisticated con, targeting people who have searched for home, car, and even construction loans online.

CBS13 has confirmed there are at least four victims so far.

We spoke with the first victim, who is located in California. He says at least a dozen other potential victims reached out to him through LinkedIn because scammers stole his identity and are now using his name to con others.

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Scammers allegedly tell victims they can get a loan but have to buy something called “loan payment protection insurance” that pays the loan for them if they can’t make payments.

Sources inside the department said these scammers are smart. They know how these loans work, and the insurance is not uncommon so even savvy borrowers are falling for it.

Victims are given this a certificate of insurance allegedly from the department of insurance complete with the state seal. The problem is the department of insurance is a regulator and the agency doesn’t issue loan insurance policies.

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The bottom line is if you need to buy loan insurance, make sure it’s through a licensed insurer, and never wire money.

CBS13 has learned, so far, victims lost nearly $100,000.

If you’ve been victimized, or have any information, the department asks you to call the agency at 800-927-4357.

You can learn more about the scam here on the department of insurance website. 

Julie Watts

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