The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services says it ordered the websites of four fake banks and credit unions to be taken down Friday.
Action was taken after MDI issued a temporary cease-and-desist order on Sept. 2 against CEO World Credit Union, Eastern Trust Finance, EH National Bank and Capital Standard Institution. A previous investigation found discrepancies and issues on their websites, including mainly identical descriptions and matching executive officers. DIFS could not identify any physical location for the groups: One claimed to be in Southfield, Mich., but listed incorrect zip codes and phone numbers.
“The high number of errors in spelling, addresses, phone numbers and zip codes, as well as the use of stock photos for executive officers create the inference that respondents are not legitimate business entities,” DIFS wrote in the cease-and-desist order.
An Oct. 19 administrative hearing is scheduled before Administrative Law Judge Stephen Goldstein to decide whether the cease-and-desist order should be made permanent.
“DIFS is committed to protecting Michiganders from predatory entities seeking to collect personal and financial information for harmful purposes,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “Websites like these take advantage of unsuspecting consumers, and we will do everything possible to ensure they stay deactivated.”