WEBSITES OFFERING QUICK, Unsecured Loans target financially vulnerable people before Christmas, Gardaí warned.
The Garda National Economic Crime Bureau is warning the public against continued advance fee fraud involving websites offering unsecured loans.
Many websites offering loans cater to financially vulnerable people who have difficulty accessing loans from established financial institutions.
The website will often suggest that it is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland, although it is not, and provide a fake Irish address.
It claims to offer loans which can be processed quickly by asking the loan seeker to complete an online application.
The applicant will then receive a call or other communication within a very short period of time – often a few minutes – telling them that their application has been approved and they will be shown the monthly repayment and the total loan amount, sometimes offering more than what has been granted. been requested.
The victim will be asked to send a small amount of money to the lender before the loan amount is issued, with reasons given suggesting that this is to cover the establishment costs; Personal Provident Insurance on the amount of the loan; or the first installment of the loan to prove that they can meet the loan repayments.
When the loan seeker sends the requested amount, no loan is issued and the advance fee is forfeited.
In one reported incident, a person living in Dublin contacted a business for a loan and was asked to post a deposit of € 680 to secure the loan.
When they transferred the money, they did not receive the loan and had no way of contacting the company.
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Gardaí says the warning signs on these websites include a lender asking for payment up front; the website offering a quick and easy way to get a loan online; and the loan being approved very quickly.
The applicant may be forced to make the prepayment immediately, usually on the grounds that the offer would be withdrawn if the fees are not paid.
Those offering the loan usually have a wrong address, wrong or incorrect zip code for the address on the website, and a wrong phone number.
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They do not seek to prove the applicant’s ability to repay the loan or to seek a guarantor or security.
There is a lack of face-to-face meetings and the lender is not regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland although it can claim to be.
The loan seeker may be asked to pay the fee in advance by cryptocurrency.
Gardaí advises the public never to pay money in advance to a lender before the loan amount is withdrawn and never to apply for a loan from an entity that is not regulated by the Central Bank of ‘Ireland.
People wishing to take out a loan can consult the Central Bank of Ireland website to see if a company mentioned on a website is regulated to provide financial services in Ireland.
Loan seekers should research an entity offering a loan, including checking if their address, postal code and telephone number are legitimate, and using genuine providers of financial services or services provided by MABS.