Moneylenders are individuals or a group of people who offer personal loans that attract high interests. The reason for the high interest is to cushion the risk that comes with the lending process.
When you have little access to banking services (un-banked or under-banked). Or you are without an excellent credit record. Then working with a moneylender is a good choice for you. This is because they will be ready to “loan” you are prone to getting into debt.
However, since there are so many moneylenders out there. You need to be able to tell the licensed ones apart. Below are ways to identify fake moneylenders.
They Are Not Licensed
Before you choose to work with a lender, make sure you check they have a valid license. It is advisable that you know who your lender is. Carry out some research to confirm that they are who they say they are. To confirm that their license is valid, you can check with the Singaporean Law Ministry website. They usually provide monthly updates on the licensed lenders in Singapore.
By researching you save yourself from any trouble and you will be able to only borrow from authorized money lenders. It is also important that you realize that in some cases some unlicensed lenders impersonate the licensed lenders. Thus it is suggested that you confirm their information details form the Moneylenders Registrar or visit their office.
They Often Text You
When you receive a text from an unknown number, be cautious since it is a scam. In Singapore, licensed lenders never text their potential customers. Neither do they encourage their clients to get personal loans through texts. Texts from a fake moneylender normally have a persuasive message that is offering you their personal loan products. The texts usually end up with the “call today”, “call now” prompts and other rallying actions.
An additional sign is when you receive text messages that offer you unbelievable deals. Some lenders will even trick you into telling you been “selected” to get a certain offer. It can also comprise of anything they can think off.
They Ask To “Hold” Your Private Documents And Personal Items
Licensed moneylenders will never try to retain personal documents. These are things like the passport, NRIC, work permit, driving license, ATM card or employment pass.
It is easy for you to tell that a fake lender is pulling a trick on you if they ask that you provide confidential information particularly the ATM card. Other lenders will attempt to hook you into a trap by giving lower rates of interest in exchange you give them your ATM (together with the password) for one week. When you come upon such a situation, do not fall for it regardless of how persuasive the explanation is.
In such a situation, these fake moneylenders will employ your ATM for felonious purposes. In addition, it is an offence when you “assist” these unlicensed moneylenders. Even when you do realize you are doing so.
They Urge You To Sign a Blank Paper
Illegal moneylenders can at times try to request that you put your signature on a blank loan contract. On the other hand, licensed moneylenders will never ask their clients to do this.
How Fake Moneylenders Cover Their Tracks
Since illegal lending is a serious matter for the Singaporean police. Fake lenders use different ways to rub out their tracks. This they do as they are victimizing borrowers. These fake lenders might use phone numbers registered under one of their borrowers’ names. With this, it becomes difficult for authorities to track them. Also when police search for the owner of the mobile number, they end up finding another borrower.
Normally the borrowers are asked to open accounts. From there they are asked to give the password and ATM cards to these illegal lenders. Since the fake lender has these, they can make withdrawals only leaving evidence that only points to their borrowers.
If a borrower does not have a way to refund the personal loan taken. These illegal lenders could get them to gamble outside the country or in ships. Unfortunately, when a borrower losses, they will just end up deeper in more debts. In these situations, it becomes very hard to get hold of the illegal lender’s name or trails on anything.
How To Deal With illegal lenders
First, you need to stay calm and do not show the fake moneylender that you are aware of their attempts to victimize you. You might put yourself in more problems should you show them that you know what they are doing.
Report Fake Lenders To The Right Authorities
All the undertakings by the fake moneylenders are done against the lending law s in Singapore. Hence the next possible move is that you log a report with the right authorities. Make sure you tell them who the illegal moneylender is, and how they run their operations.
When you have any records from previous transactions done with the fake moneylender be sure to submit it. This is because such records will assist in the process of investigating. Make sure that you share with the authorities all the details you know regarding the fake moneylender.
Reporting Any Continuing Pressure And Threats
You need to realize that the illegal moneylender might turn to using pressure and threats. None the less, do not give in to their threats. But rather report them at once to the right authorities. In so doing, the information you provide will help further with your case. The reason being that any further threats can be used as evidence against the fake lender.
Terminating Further Payments
Once you have alerted the authorities of your situation then it is good that you stop making any more payments for your loan. Because fake moneylenders are operating illegally, it then means that they have no right to get payments or even give loans to debtors. Of importance, is that you are aware of the borrower rights and know the law. Armed with this you can use it against them.