Quick tips to help spot Loan Fee Fraud

By Juan Pombo

Heads up, if you’re asked to pay an upfront fee for a loan or credit, it could be a scam.

Lately, there's been an increase in reports of loan fee fraud - where scammers persuade people to pay an upfront fee for a loan which they never receive. So, in association with the FCA, we've put together some handy tips on how to spot the warning signs of loan fee fraud.

What to look out for

- You may have made several loan applications online and then been contacted by text, email, or a call out of the blue and offered a loan.

- You may be asked to make an upfront payment into a bank account, or transfer money via an unusual method e.g. Western Union or iTunes vouchers.

- The scammers may claim that the fee is refundable and will be used as a deposit, administrative fee, insurance or because of bad credit history.

- You may be put under pressure to pay the fee quickly.

- Once the initial payment has been made, the scammer might contact you again to ask for further payments before the loan can be released. 

- But regardless of the number of payments made, the loan never materialises.

How to protect yourself:

- When applying for a loan you should only deal with firms authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the regulator of all financial firms operating in the UK.

- You should check the  Financial Services Register to see if a firm is regulated by the FCA , and check that the contact details provided by the firm match the details on the Register.

- Always use the contact details on the Register rather than a direct line or email they give you.

- For more information visit www.fca.org.uk/consumers/loan-fee-fraud


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