Gardai has warned the public of an online loan scam that targets vulnerable people.
The trick allows the victim to apply for the loan online without needing a good credit score or providing any documentation beyond basic personal details.
The victim will then receive a call telling them that their application has been accepted and asking them to send money to the lender before the loan is paid.
The crooks will claim that this money will be used either as an upfront charge or to pay taxes abroad, to pay the PPI insurance on the loan or simply to show that the victim has the capacity to meet their repayments. .
In a declarationsaid Gardai, “We continue to receive reports from people who have been victims of advance charge fraud regarding online websites offering unsecured loans. It can affect both individuals and professionals.
“There are a number of websites offering unsecured loans that target the most vulnerable. It is sometimes very attractive because it offers loans which are processed quickly and hassle free.
After applying online, the person targeted by these scammers will receive a call or communication within a very short time (often a few minutes) informing them that their loan application has been approved.
The person will also be asked to provide details on the loan amount and the monthly repayment. The victim is then asked to send a small amount of money to the lender before the loan amount issued.
Different reasons are given for this advance, for example in the form of an initial charge or to pay a Provident Insurance on the amount of the loan.
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When this is done, no loan is ever issued and the upfront charge is lost.
The Gardai has issued the following advice that people are encouraged to take note of;
• Never apply for a loan from an entity that is not authorized by the Central Bank
• Always check the official website of the Central Bank to see if the business is authorized by the Central Bank. The register of approved companies can be consulted here.