The digital age has certainly changed the way business is done. And the illegal moneylender (loansharks) have taken it to new heights. We at Empire Global take a look at how the industry is changing rapidly.
Harassment Online: Name Shaming
Loansharks are now using social media to take their “Owe$Pay$” threats online. One creates a fake account that replicates the borrower’s with similar name and befriends everyone that he knows. And then the big hit comes whereby the loanshark starts placing posts on the account.
They even use postcards with pictures of the victim’s identity card, plastered with O$P$ and plastered them onto the fake account. This is just one such antic being used by them.
By name shaming and cyber bullying the borrower, the unlicensed moneylender gets to publicly let the victim’s closest ones know about his borrowing issue.
Help Yourself from Illegal Moneylender
Firstly, the law is on your side in an online bullying case. Facebook complaints falls the Protection from Harassment Act (POHA) because he had claimed the content on Facebook was false.
Secondly, under the Moneylenders Act, any person who, acting on behalf of an unlicensed moneylender, commits or attempts to use any threatening, abusive or insulting words, behaviour, writing, sign or visible representation, or commits any act likely to cause alarm or annoyance to his borrower or surety, any member of the family of the borrower or surety, or any other person, may face up to five years in jail, a fine between $5,000 and $50,000 and is also liable to get caned.
With the police clamping hard on harassment cases coupled with the use of modern technology plus social media, the police have come up with alternatives to get the public at large to help them.
Posting images of loanshark harassment, with their deeds online, the police appeals to the public to turn n such offenders. Such as Liu Yimin Lynnette, 28, who was charged in court facing seven charges of splashing red paint on doors and pasting envelopes with “O$P$”, the unit numbers of the borrowers, and a mobile number on the walls beside the units.
News publishers such as AsiaOne has taken this another step further by showing a map of the money harassment cases (Loanshark Harassment Hotspots) occurring in Singapore. These are public information gathered from SPH news sources to give the public a better look at the harassment cases by illegal moneylenders.
Borrow from Licensed Moneylender Instead
Simply avoid all these harassments that could ruin your name by going to proper licensed moneylenders instead. There are limited licensed moneylenders and every year it becomes harder for businesses like us to maintain the moneylender license.
This is due to changing policies that improves the safety nets of borrowers. We encourage these moves by the government no doubt as it makes things smoother for us.
With strict regulations by the government and heavy punishments for licensed moneylenders if they made offences. Hence borrowing from licensed moneylenders make a better choice.
Negotiations between lending officers becomes easier too. Tell us your concerns and we can help you.