POSTED ON FEBRUARY 20, 2021
Loan Scam Advisory
Loan scam advisory
In 2019, between January and November there were about 1700 reported cases of loans scams which have possible links to unlicensed moneylending. Victims of such scams were cheated of at least $6.8 million
The reported sum of money cheated in 2019 is three times the reported amount cheated from victims in 2018 where in 990 cases; about $2 million were cheated of victims.
What to look out for?
- Messages from unknown senders via social media, SMS etc. offering loan services.
- Requesting you to transfer deposit prior to loan disbursement.
- Licensed moneylenders are not allowed to publicise/promote their service via cold calls or sending unsolicited text messages to members of public.
- Under the law, a licensed money lender has to verify the identity of borrower at the registered business operating address. The list of licensed money lenders and approved place of business can be found here https://rom.mlaw.gov.sg/information-for-borrowers/list-of-licensed-moneylenders-in-singapore/.
- With a licensed money lender, no loans should be granted to borrower remotely.
What should you do?
In other instances, false documents that were claimed to be issued by government organizations these documents that were claimed to be issued by the Ministry of Law and Monetary Authority of Singapore would inform victims that a deposit of 7% GST is required before the loan gets disbursed. The purpose of presenting such documents to victims was to convince them that they are corresponding with a licensed moneylender and pay the proposed amount of money. However, after making payments the victim would find that they will never receive the promised loan amount.
Members of the public are advised to take the following precautions with regard to such scams:
If you wish to provide any information related to such scams, please call the Police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. If you require urgent Police assistance, please dial ‘999’. The public can call the X-Ah Long hotline at 1800-924-5664 if they suspect or know of anyone who could be involved in illegal loansharking activities.
If you receive a cold call or unsolicited text message asking if you would like to take up a loan, call the anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 to verify. Visit www.scamalert.sg to find out more about scams. Join the ‘Let’s fight scams’ campaign at www.scamalert.sg fight by signing up as an advocate to receive up-to-date messages and share them with your family and friends. Together, we can help stop scams and prevent our loved ones from becoming the next scam victim.