Trading standards warning over latest loans scam

Angus Council trading standards service has been alerted to a loans scam.

The scam is aimed at people with bad credit history, who are seeking a small loan. A request is submitted to an online broker who offers to put lenders in touch.

The consumer then receives a call from a number which appears to be a UK based landline. Trading standards advise that UK phone numbers can be purchased by anyone, anywhere, and used to mask the caller’s origin. It is thought that the calls are emanating from India. The consumer is also given a UK based address, which ties in with the area code of the phone number, adding to the impression that this is a legitimate business. Business addresses can be easily purchased to give the impression that an organisation has a legitimate and contactable UK office. The caller offers the consumer a loan but they are required to make a payment up front via bank transfer.

The consumer is then asked for additional cash, and this continues. The offer of a loan is a scam and consumers who pay money will receive nothing in return.

Trading standards advise consumers that calls from UK or locally based phone numbers may not actually originate from this area and that local, or UK based address may not be occupied by the business claiming to operate from it. They also advise consumers not to pay large sums of money up front on the promise that you will receive a loan, without first receiving some formal paperwork and that you have checked out the loan provider yourself.

If you are a consumer or small business and intend to take out a loan, make sure you check that the loan provider and brokering agent have current consumer credit licences. Never use Paypoint Bank Transfer, Western Union, or any other bank transfer facility, unless you personally know the individual you are transferring money to, and you are sure that they can be trusted.