My small business in New York City receives about a dozen checks in the mail every month. This letter that Bizfi sent me looks like most checks we get:
I opened the envelope and there was a check made out to me and my company, from a business that I had never heard of.
At first I was excited! Fresh money.
But then I realized I had been had, or scammed, or quickly marketed to.
This is either genius or deceptive direct mail marketing targeted at small and medium-sized business owners.
Here’s the letter in full:
This is not a valid check. Bizfi has mailed me a fake check in an attempt to get me to contact them about a loan for my business. I took some pictures of it with my cellphone (shared above), then I tore it up and threw it away.
More About Bizfi
- Formerly known as Merchant Cash and Capital.
- “Founded in 2005, Bizfi and its family of companies have provided in excess of $1.7 Billion in financing to more than 30,000 small businesses in a diverse variety of industries across the United States.”
- Stephen Sheinbaum is the Founder (LinkedIn profile)
- Bizfi operates within the intersection between financial services and computer technology, or “FinTech.”
- July 2015 interview with the Founder
- Bizfi’s 2016 Q1 results: $144M in financing to 3,605 small businesses
Similar Direct Mail Complaints at the BBB
“I keep getting advertisements from this “Loan Shark” of a company. They send real looking checks which are missing the micr information on the bottom. I do not fall for these programs as they commonly drive small businesses into the ground. I did not ask to be mailed this junk and I do not want to see another mailing from this company! Remove me from a methods of contact!!”
“Next Level Funding has sent a check on my name and my company’s name that looks authentic, but it is obliviously a fake. However, the fact that my company’s name and my own are on that check represent an unwarranted risk to me personally and to our organizations as this junk mail could have ended in the hands of unscrupulous people who may want to simply our reputation by trying to cash or misrepresent themselves as officers of the company. I am sure that Next Level Funding understands the risks and damages caused by identity theft and misrepresentation of individuals and organizations, respectively, therefore, the usage of my name and that of my organization are not allowed by Next Level Funding for its deceptive advertisements. Based on the other complaints seen here, I would highly recommend to list this company as highly irresponsible for risking individuals and organizations reputations.”