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Target Publishers Continues to Scam Mortgage Companies

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I just received yet another call from a mortgage broker asking me for information regarding a mortgage lead company called Target Publishers. This time the broker received my information via records at the Reno Courthouse. I’ve been receiving such calls for the past two years since I first did business with Target Publishers. All of the calls follow the same script. A mortgage broker has purchased mortgage leads from Target Publishers, the leads were never delivered, Target Publishers has ceased all communication and is refusing to deliver leads or a refund and the broker is wondering how he is going to get his $x,xxx back. In the case of the latest call I received, the broker worked in a shop with 4 loan officers and had lost $6,000 to Target Publishers.

When I purchased leads from Target Publishers, the campaign started two weeks late, didn’t deliver the daily number of leads required and after around the 15th unsuccessful transfer attempt over the course of a week (all leads ended in static, echos, and or hangup) I requested a refund. After paying $1800 for a test run, three weeks later I had nothing to show for my time or money. When I attempted to contact Jacob Larson (the contact person usually mentioned in various complaint threads across the interwebs) or the owner (according to Jacob this is Darren McDowell, whom may or may not be a real person) they became abusive and stopped all communication.

I filed a BBB complaint (they’re no longer members), posted a friendly warning on brokeroutpost.com (which Darin promptly deleted, sadly enough to this day I still see the occasional brokeroutpost poster announcing that they too have been ripped off, who knows how many of these could have been prevented), and filed a small claims case in Reno with the hope they would settle out. Ultimately, I sued them in Reno Small Claims Court and won a default judgment when they did not show up. My intention was not to follow through with the small claims case because of the dollar amount, but once the ball got rolling, I figured what the heck and followed through, even though it meant having to fly from sunny Huntington Beach, CA to Reno.

Until recently, their address was a Reno address which happened to be a PO Box at a UPS store. My belief is that they actually operate out of California or Oregon. I attempted service twice without success at the UPS PO Box, once at the home of “Darren McDowell” in El Cajon, California, and once in Las Vegas, NV before successfully serving the original UPS PO Box when we learned the owner was not accepting the service when he was actually supposed to.

After winning the judgment, it came time to collect. The original Bank of America that cashed my check was in Beaverton, OR, so I naively assumed that I had to serve that specific branch in order to garnish Target Publisher’s bank account. This required filing a Foreign Judgment in Clackamas County, Oregon in order to validate the Reno judgment in Oregon. This was at least as much work as the original small claims case.
When the Write of Garnishment was eventually served, there were no funds in the account so I got nothing.

I then posed as a lead buyer to get Target’s latest bank information to see if they had changed banks. They had not, the bank account number was identical and was still used in their day to day operations. On a side note, Target does not accept credit cards, yes I know, HUGE RED FLAG. I again served the Writ on Bank of America and again was denied as there were no funds available. As long as they immediately transfer funds out of their bank account when they receive payment from customers, they seem to be protected. A call to the Bank of America garnishment department confirmed this.

The bottom line is that Target Publishers is very good at what they do. They immediately transfer funds out of their corporate account whenever they receive a payment and thus are protected from creditors like myself. They also make serving them very difficult. A quick google search of targetpublishers.com shows the three of the top five listings are discussing Target Publishers as a scam, yet they continue to operate year after year. They haven’t even had to change their name, which is the first thing they will do once they get catch enough heat.

I have a call in to Target Publishers for comment.

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Trace Richardson has written 638 articles on BankChirp.com

I'm Trace Richardson and am the founder of LeadPress. I’m a licensed California Real Estate broker and a former equities trader previously holding the Series 7, 63, 55 and 24 securities licenses.

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6 Responses to “Target Publishers Continues to Scam Mortgage Companies”


  • You definitely have gotten a little further with them then me. I too was ripped off and was able to get a copy of a check emailed to me; however they never mailed it. I pursued them with the Nevada’s Consumer Affairs; however they closed their business license and opened up a new one in Oregon. I can’t believe these guys get a away with what their doing. You may want to got to the FBI Internet site at https://complaint.ic3.gov and to http://www.ripoffreport.com.

  • Another SCAM ALERT – I wired this company money for 2 orders and they received the money and stoped taking my calls. I have left countless emails and voicemails and they have stolen my money!
    I am going to file complains with the BBB, District Attorneys office and the FBI.

    ANY information you may have on this company or your deailings with them please contact me.

    Thank you
    JC

  • ANOTHER SCAM ALETER- I wish I had found this post before I gave money to this company. They stole $1,000 dollars from me, not a ton of money but not the point!
    I did the usual posting a scam alert on a few sites and filed a complaint to the BBB and they were very aware of the long list of negative history target publishers had.
    Thieves… plain and simple. Target publishers marketing group STAY AWAY from them. If anyone has had any dealing with them and has had any success recovering stolen money let me know.

  • These guys got me for some money also. It is pretty much the same story. They didn’t deliver as outlined in the contract and then stopped returning phone calls or emails. It doesn’t seem like they ever intended to deliver and just wanted the money. They are crooks.

    If you were ripped off by these guys send me an email at targetripoff@gmail.com. I want to compile a list for a complaint. I think a list of people will carry more weight.

  • They got me too, I sent $1490.00 via bank wire last week. Alex of Target Publishers will no longer answer my calls or return my emails.

    Next step for me, is Attorney General Complaint, BBB Complaint, local law enforcement to press fraud charges. And I’m pretty sure I can get the website shut down as well.

    russ@curemydebt.net

  • Well I wired them $1490.00 for 30 paper leads and 20 live transfers as a small test batch, since this was my first time dealing with them. That was last week Tuesday, and Alex Price, if that’s his real name, assured me I would start receiving leads by last week Thursday, still haven’t received anything, and now he wont respond to my email or my phone calls. I’ve done some research, Target Publishers Marketing Group Inc of Oregon is registered through Smallbiz Agents LLC of Salem Oregon which is actually located in Tucson AZ and they have a UPS box in Reno NV, the guys real name is Michael Banner. If you check the whois on targetpublishers.com they have all the information hidden through domains by proxy. I have no doubt in my mind at this point that this guy is professional scammer.

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