Warning: Loan sharks trick, shame debtors on social networks

Prohibited moneylenders purchase advertisements online to look genuine and post photos of debtors to embarrass them into paying up

In the video, he states his name, NRIC number and house address. And then confesses he has actually obtained money from loan sharks.

Rather than hang pig’s heads on doors, loan sharks have designed a 21st-century method of pestering debtors – posting their details on social networks with photos and videos they had actually required as collateral.

A lot of services have an online presence, and illegal moneylenders have cottoned on to how they too can produce an air of authenticity that could reel in unsuspecting debtors. Some tech-savvy loan sharks are masquerading as licensed moneylenders (LMLs) marketing their “services” online. This has caused an increasing number of people “wrongly” borrowing money from unlicensed lenders (UMLs), inning accordance with voluntary well-being organisations (VWOs) who help those in debt.

Advertisements may appear on platforms like Facebook and Google, and some UMLs even have websites that look authentic.

This remains in addition to unsolicited messages and calls from loan sharks offering loans, said the president of the Moneylender’s Association of Singapore, Mr Peter Tan. Since they presume that an unlawful operation would not be promoting so honestly, he said individuals are deceived. When reached on the phone, some loan sharks even declare to be licensed if asked straight.

” This issue has actually been around for a minimum of 2 years, however it’s ending up being more rampant as loan sharks get more brazen,” stated Mr Tan. “The paradox is that licensed lenders can not market on these platforms, however people have no idea that.”

Mr Tan said he had actually brought this up to the authorities.

When contacted, the cops and Registry of Moneylenders stated they knew the issue.

The law forbids certified money lenders from promoting their business through unsolicited calls or online ads and messages. They are permitted just to list their organisations in directories, or publicise their services on their own sites, and in materials offered at their facilities.

Throughout the years, there have actually been more cases of loan sharks using names of signed up lenders and developing authentic-looking websites, said Mr Steven Loh, 44, a counsellor from Blessed Grace Social Services.

He said some borrowers are tricked because they do unknown of the guidelines that bind LMLs, who can just make loans face to face at the place of business, and should offer loans in money or cheque.

” For loan sharks, all the transactions take place online, and you do not even fulfill the person,” he stated.

Counsellor and board member at The Silver Lining Community Services, Madam Lucy Wee, 52, stated numerous loan sharks pretend to be legitimate lenders when calling possible customers.

” In a minute of urgent financial need, lots of don’t take the extra step to inspect if the business or individual is certified. By the time they realise it’s a loan shark, it’s too late,” she said.

Another pattern noticed by VWOs are loan sharks taking to social media to bug debtors.

In the past months, there have been sites, Facebook pages and even YouTube channels established by supposed loan sharks who publish information, photos and videos of those who default on their loans.

While the pages are typically removed within weeks, its purpose is to humiliate debtors and expose their debt to friends and family, stated creator of Adullam Life Counselling, Mr Wong Kee Soon.

Mr Wong, 63, stated these methods of “shaming” are becoming more common. “Loan sharks do not just splash paint or put a pig’s head on your door any more – they publish hazards and vulgarities on your Facebook wall and your friends’ walls.”

Mr Loh said loan sharks also inform customers to take video or photos of themselves with their NRICs or any form of identification. The videos and photos go online when they default on their payments.

Madam Wee said: “( Licensed) moneylenders are an option for those who need money urgently however can not borrow from banks because of income concerns. However besides making certain they’re certified, do your checks and estimations since if you’re unable to pay them back, you’re stuck in a vicious circle.”

Most services have an online existence, and illegal moneylenders have cottoned on to how they too can create an air of legitimacy that might reel in unwary debtors. Some tech-savvy loan sharks are masquerading as licensed moneylenders (LMLs) marketing their “services” online. This is in addition to unsolicited messages and calls from loan sharks providing loans, said the president of the Moneylender’s Association of Singapore, Mr Peter Tan. He said individuals are misinformed due to the fact that they assume that an unlawful operation would not be marketing so openly. When reached on the phone, some loan sharks even declare to be licensed if asked straight.