A scam warning has been issued regarding the quick, easy and unsecured loans offered online.
Fraudulent loans, which allow the victim to fill out a quick form online, often lead to a phone call from what appears to be an Irish number.
They are then asked to make a payment before the loan is approved and the payment is transferred to their account.
In collaboration with the Central Bank, Gardai issued a warning regarding “advance fee fraud”.
The reasons for the charges may vary, but may include:
- Insurance costs
- Set up fees
- First payment in advance
The websites used in these scams appear to be professional in nature, but there are a number of red flags that the public should watch out for, Gardai warned.
- The common tendency for all of these sites is that they offer quick and easy money.
- No guarantor or deposit is required and no verification of the individual’s ability to pay will be made and no document / proof of identity will be requested.
- The requirement that a fee is paid before the service is provided
- The fraudster will pressure the victim to act quickly or the opportunity will be lost
- The company offering the loans is not regulated by the Irish Central Bank. Even though they may claim to be so regulated or will say they don’t need regulation because they are experienced
An Garda Síochána would advise the public to:
- Never apply for a loan from an entity that is not authorized by the Central Bank – do your checks before any agreements are made and before sending any money.
- ALWAYS check the official Central Bank website to see if the business is authorized by the Central Bank. The register of approved companies is available at http://registers.centralbank.ie/
- There may also be cases where a company “clones” the details of an authorized entity by taking the details of an authorized entity and pretending to be that entity or an associated entity. the attention of the Central Bank is available on the website of the Central Bank at https://www.centralbank.ie/regulation/how-we-regulate/authorisation/unauthorised-firms but be aware that there may be scams that have not yet been brought to the attention of the Central Bank.
- Never allow your account to be used by another person to transfer money or hold money for a period (long or short) as this allows fraudsters to carry out their crimes and deprives innocent victims of their hard earned money.
- Unfortunately, there are no easy and cheap loans available in the market and if the offer “sounds too good to be true, it is almost certainly too good to be true”.
- Always report the problem to your local Garda station.
- Stop and think BEFORE YOU COMMIT.
- Never give personal data to people you don’t know.
- Always be on the lookout for fraud, especially when you receive an unsolicited phone call, email, text, or other unsolicited communication that leads to a request for personal or banking information.
- Never click a link in an email, text, or other message unless you know the source.