Beware of Loan Sharks

Loan sharks trick, shame debtors on social networks

Illegal lenders buy advertisements online to look legitimate and post pictures of debtors to embarrass them into paying up

In the video, he declares his name, NRIC number and home address. And after that confesses he has borrowed money from loan sharks.

Instead of hang pig’s heads on doors, loan sharks have actually created a 21st-century method of bugging debtors – publishing their details on social media with videos and pictures they had actually demanded as security.

Many companies have an online presence, and unlawful moneylenders have actually cottoned on to how they too can produce an air of authenticity that could reel in unwary customers. Some tech-savvy loan sharks are masquerading as certified moneylenders (LMLs) marketing their “services” online. This has actually led to an increasing variety of individuals “erroneously” obtaining money from unlicensed lenders (UMLs), inning accordance with voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs) who help those in debt.

Advertisements might appear on platforms like Facebook and Google, and some UMLs even have sites that look real.

This is in addition to unsolicited messages and calls from loan sharks offering loans, said the president of the Moneylender’s Association of Singapore, Mr Peter Tan. He stated individuals are misguided due to the fact that they presume that an illegal operation would not be promoting so honestly. When reached on the phone, some loan sharks even declare to be accredited if asked directly.

” This problem has actually been around for at least 2 years, however it’s becoming more rampant as loan sharks get more brazen,” said Mr Tan. “The paradox is that certified lenders can not advertise on these platforms, but people don’t know that.”

Mr Tan stated he had brought this approximately the authorities.

When gotten in touch with, the authorities and Registry of Moneylenders said they knew the problem.

The law prohibits certified money lenders from promoting their business through unsolicited calls or online ads and messages. They are allowed only to list their services in directory sites, or publicise their services by themselves websites, and in products available at their properties.

Throughout the years, there have actually been more cases of loan sharks using names of signed up lenders and producing authentic-looking websites, stated Mr Steven Loh, 44, a counsellor from Blessed Grace Social Services.

He stated some debtors are fooled due to the fact that they do unknown of the policies that bind LMLs, who can only make loans face to face at the workplace, and must provide loans in money or cheque.

” For loan sharks, all the transactions occur online, and you do not even meet the individual,” he said.

Counsellor and board member at The Silver Lining Community Services, Madam Lucy Wee, 52, stated numerous loan sharks pretend to be genuine lenders when getting in touch with prospective borrowers.

” In a moment of immediate financial requirement, many don’t take the additional action to check if the business or individual is licensed. By the time they realise it’s a loan shark, it’s far too late,” she stated.

Another trend discovered by VWOs are loan sharks taking to social media to bug debtors.

In the past months, there have been sites, Facebook pages and even YouTube channels established by purported loan sharks who publish info, pictures and videos of those who default on their loans.

While the pages are typically removed within weeks, its purpose is to humiliate customers and expose their financial obligation to family and friends, stated founder of Adullam Life Counselling, Mr Wong Kee Soon.

Mr Wong, 63, said these methods of “shaming” are becoming more typical. “Loan sharks do not just splash paint or put a pig’s head on your door anymore – they publish hazards and indecencies on your Facebook wall and your buddies’ walls.”

Mr Loh said loan sharks also tell borrowers to take video or images of themselves with their NRICs or any type of recognition. When they default on their payments, the pictures and videos browse the web.

Madam Wee stated: “( Licensed) lenders are an alternative for those who need money urgently however can not borrow from banks because of income concerns. However besides making sure they’re licensed, do your checks and computations due to the fact that if you’re not able to pay them back, you’re stuck in a vicious circle.”

A lot of organisations have an online presence, and illegal moneylenders have actually cottoned on to how they too can produce an air of legitimacy that might reel in unsuspecting debtors. Some tech-savvy loan sharks are masquerading as licensed lenders (LMLs) marketing their “services” online. This is in addition to unsolicited messages and calls from loan sharks providing loans, said the president of the Moneylender’s Association of Singapore, Mr Peter Tan. He said individuals are misled due to the fact that they presume that an illegal operation would not be advertising so honestly. When reached on the phone, some loan sharks even claim to be certified if asked directly.