Hold your horses!
More loan and credit providers than ever before, are operating online. Many financial institutions and sites are indeed trustworthy, but scams do exist. These fraudsters succeed in taking a person's money or bank details to arrange loans that will never appear and leave victims in their wake. There’s usually no way to recover the cash and they simply flood those that enquire about loans with unwanted calls and texts for all eternity.
Let’s take a closer look at these loan fraudsters with empty promises.
These ‘companies’ usually offer tempting long-term repayment options, with a heartfelt promise to ease your financial misfortunes. But in return, you have to pay a somewhat hefty sum upfront for the loan arrangements to commence, they call it ‘activating’ the loan. They prey on people stuck in financial difficulty by placing numerous ads online in search of potential victims. If you contact them, you’ll be told that getting a loan is no problem, but this is where they corner their victims that are now oh-so-happy and relieved to get a loan. Unsuspecting South African borrowers have poured out thousands of Rands for these ‘loans’ only to find the money never actually appears.
Consider the following 3 sure signs of scams:
A lender that isn’t interested in your credit history
Loan providers will always be interested in your creditworthiness. One that doesn’t care about your credit record should immediately worry you. A lot of ads say “Bad Credit? No problem” or “You deserve a loan” or “Get cash fast, no hassle guaranteed” and are sure signs of a potential scam. Banks and other legitimate lenders always evaluate and confirm your credit before they grant you an offer for a loan.
Fees that aren’t stipulated clearly.
As mentioned above, fraudsters may state that you’ve been approved for a loan and then ask you for a fee to fully commence with the process. Any activity like this and it’s your cue to hang up the phone and walk away, especially if you’re told it is for ‘insurance’ or ‘processing’ purposes. Legitimate lenders often charge application or credit fees, but the difference is that they disclose their fees clearly, take the fees from the amount you borrow, and it is usually paid to the lender after loan approval.
No formal credentials or signs of real world presence.
All companies that offer loans in South Africa must be registered with the NCR (National Credit Regulator). To check, you can visit the NCR online and search for the company. If not, and you can’t measure the results up against that on their site, do not deal with them and alert the authorities. As a closing note - never trust an offer solely based on calls, texts, or emails. If a lender contacts you out of the blue, set off your alarm.