“Hi bro, looking for a reliable and trustworthy lender for money loans?” – by illegal moneylenders.
Have you been getting this type of messages from random numbers in the past few months? If so, you have been targeted by illegal moneylenders syndicates.
Illegal moneylenders have been acquiring databases of mobile numbers and hounding potential customers with SMS or WhatsApp messages, sometimes up to a few times a day, to promote their money lending deals.
Money Lending Scams
To make things worse, some of these moneylender messages can be scams.
The scammers will act like a typical illegal moneylender and ask for your personal details in order to secure the loan but are not willing to release the money until they have received a cash deposit from you.
However, once the deposit has been sent over, these scammers go uncontactable and might even use the details collected from you to harass you further.
Not Just Messages, But Calls Too
Moneylenders has gotten more brazen recently and started calling their “leads” to solicit for business.
Blocking or marking the numbers as spam doesn’t stop any of these acts from happening either because just one week later, you will see a new number messaging or calling you.
What To Do If You Start Receiving These SMS or Calls
First, you have to know that licensed moneylenders can only advertise their business on their website and on their premises. Any other form of money lending advertising is prohibited by law, so make sure to avoid making contact when you receive money lending sms or calls.
The Singapore Police Force has also outlined the following steps to deal with these SMS and calls:
a) Do not reply or interact with the loanshark;
b) Notify the Police via i-Witness at https://www.police.gov.sg/iwitness;
c) Report the number as “spam” and block the number using readily available spam filter applications.
Avoid Illegal Moneylenders At All Cost
Illegal moneylenders might offer you fast money or flexible repayment options such as weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or even on pay days, but the interest rates they charge generally hover around 10 per cent to 20 percent — which is a lot more than what licensed money lenders can charge.
If you find yourself in need of money, always try to look for government organisations to help you before looking at financial institutions such as licensed moneylenders, banks or pawn shops.