So you are a victim of a loan scam. You were probably either contacted by a bogus lender or you were conned online by a company posing as a legitimate lending company. What do you do next?
You can pretty much kiss your money goodbye, you won’t be seeing that again, but there are a few steps you can take that will help fight the fraud. Here are some things that you can do to help others from falling into the same trap:
- Report it straight away. Action Fraud is the UK’s national fraud and internet crime reporting centre. Action Fraud is always happy to answer your calls and online reports of any suspicious activity. There is a form that you can fill out online.
- You can try to get your money back. Realistically chances that you will succeed are slim. Most of the scam sites are up one day, and before you know it they have your money and the site disappears.
- If you have been dealing with a broker or a legitimate lender who has failed to deliver you have a better chance at recovering your cash. Legally any money that has been paid to a broker must be refunded in full if the loan has not materialised after six months. If the broker declines to pay the money back you can make a report to the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) Consumer Helpline. A good rule of thumb is to always keep all correspondence and paperwork of any financial transaction as you might need it later to build your case. There are also financial charities such as Citizen’s Advice that can support you.
- Block irritating calls and SMS’s. There are several ways to stop loan sharks, scammers and other irritating solicitations from annoying you on your phone. You can join the Telephone Preference Service register that blocks all calls except the ones that you expressly choose to hear from. You will also find that your network has many different options when it comes to blocking, identifying, and weeding out calls and SMS’s that you do not wish to receive.
- Get help. If you are in debt and taking out short term loans or quick cash loans to pay off other debts, consider getting some help from a charity like Citizen’s Advice or StepChange. There are several national charities that can help you make a plan to get out of debt.
It seems that since the Payday Loan industry was regulated earlier this year the prophecies have come to pass. As the payday industry continues to grow, and mostly online, the new regulations have made a space for these bogus companies to offer credit where the Payday lenders no longer can. The Loan Shark has once again risen from the depths, teeth gnashing, beady eyes on the lookout for a tasty scam, and its those with poor credit rating and no money that are falling into the water.