03 Jul 2020
What are loan scams?
In loan scams, scammers pretend to offer loans and loan services to victims by pretending to be staff from licensed moneylenders. They may approach victims randomly through SMS text message or WhatsApp message, offering incentives such as quick loans or larger loan amounts. Interested parties are then instructed to transfer a sum of money as a deposit before the loan can be disbursed However, after victims transfer the money, the loan never gets disbursed and the scammers often become uncontactable.
In some cases, scammers may try to ask for personal information such as your NRIC, Singpass details and bank account numbers as well; they can use these details to hijack your accounts or perform other unlawful dealings.
In other instances, scammers would send victims false documents that they claim were issued by government organisations such as the Ministry of Law or the Monetary Authority of Singapore. These documents would inform victims that they were required to pay a deposit and a 7 per cent goods and services tax before the loan gets disbursed. The scammers’ goal is to convince victims that they’re corresponding with a licensed moneylender, so that they will part with their money. Unfortunately, after the payment is made, victims never receive the loan amount.
According to The Straits Times, victims in Singapore got cheated of $6.8 million due to loan scams, from January to November 2019. This number is set to rise in 2020 as scammers become more sophisticated in their tactics. It is therefore important for everyone to be vigilant against these scams.
How can I spot a loan scam?
How can I guard against it?