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Illegal Money Lenders on Facebook

Are Licensed Money Lenders on Facebook Allowed to Advertise in Singapore? Be Careful!

Illegal Money Lenders on Facebook

Licensed Moneylending is a strict business in Singapore with various levels of restrictions for both online and offline presence. However, with the rise of digital media and the ease of digital advertisements, some moneylenders (illegal and legal) are turning to creative techniques to acquire more customers. Social media has made it an equal fighting ground for everyone. Illegal Money lenders on Facebook or unlawful lenders are now using social media to push creative new ways to attract customers.

Facebook Advertising Guidelines. No loan ads.

Facebook Ad Review Process

Facebook Ad Review Process

Facebook has 30 types of ad content that are not allowed (prohibited) to be advertised on Facebook. One, in particular, points out to the moneylending and finance industry.

“Payday Loans, Paycheck Advances, and Bail Bonds

Ads may not promote payday loans, paycheck advances, bail bonds, or any short-term loans intended to cover someone’s expenses until their next payday. Short term loan refers to a loan of 90 days or less.”

This strikes out as a strict advertising regulation for moneylenders, denoting payday loans and the likes of such are not allowed for money lenders on Facebook. Any forms of ads or sponsored content on Facebook for payday loans are not allowed on Facebook. Hence money lenders turn creative or get businesses to churn creative mediums for them.

Cloaking for Money Lenders on Facebook

This was a law raised in light of pressure to protect vulnerable users. Cloaking is a technique used by advertisers, spammers and companies to bypass the moderators and algorithms on Facebook.

Illegal Cloaking on Facebook - Infographics

Illegal Cloaking on Facebook – Infographics

A website or link is presented to the users that may appear legit, however, they are redirected to another version of the site or an illegal site to collect information. It may lead to misleading information on the website and taking up loans or financial products that might not seem favourable to them.

Companies like Facebook are trying hard now to protect their own users from harmful and deceptive financial products rather known as a “bad ad”. These bad ads can range from counterfeiting to phishing to promoting of illegal financial products, something that is not advertised.

Facebook algorithms are getting stricter and tighter, however, new creative ways of companies bypassing Facebook regulations are interesting.

The advertising regulation law for licensed money lender in Singapore

The Ministry of Law has a strict set of rules that governs a licensed Money Lender dos and donts in relation to marketing and advertising. These rules were set to ensure that the society at large is well protected and also due to the increasing negativism on the way financial products are being wrongly promoted.

What is not allowed:

Paid-for internet links

Paid-for internet links (also known as “sponsored links”) through search engines such as any paid-for links from search engines, appearing on internet search engine results pages or on any other Internet webpage.

This means that paid links on any online mediums are not allowed. Ads on Facebook are strictly not allowed in this case.

The Ministry Of Law has a set of rules that governs what a licensed Moneylender may or may not do in relation to marketing and advertising. Obviously, these rules were set in place for good reasons – to ensure that society is protected. We have extracted some of the key directions worth understanding.

Online advertisements that are not on the licensee’s business website or in an online business directory. Note: For the avoidance of doubt, advertising on internet social media sites (e.g. “Facebook”) or video hosting sites (e.g. “YouTube”) is not permitted.

This rule also adds on to the list that disallows online advertisements of social platforms.

Directories on online medium which consist solely of listings and advertisements of moneylenders and which are advertised in any manner or which are engineered in the same manner as described in paragraph

Advertisements in the form of Short Message Service (“SMS”) messages and e-mails sent to the general public, patrons of the licensee or former patrons of the licensee.

Still Bypassing Money Lender laws

However, even with tight restrictions by technology giants and by the local government laws, companies still find innovative ways to bypass such systems. One such technique is start-up companies try to cut into this space by offering a system to provide loan quotes to customers. These loan quotes serve as an offering to potential borrowers as they are gathered by various different companies. These companies are in the umbrella of the startup and not publicly known. This shields illegal money lenders on facebook or even legal money lenders that might resort to such techniques to acquire new customers.

Money Lender on Facebook to get Loan Quotes

Money Lender on Facebook to get Loan Quotes

Hence a word of caution, always check and be careful of what you might be in for. Read the fine print, and there’s be sure of the laws behind borrowing money. Also, ensure that you have a firm grip on your financials and spendings.

Interest Rates Take a Hike with rising Sibor in Singapore. Look at how it will affect you.

Interest Rate Spikes & Latest in Moneylenders News

Money, money and more money! The recent news about the US interest rates hikes has hit our shores in Singapore and the news is not entirely encouraging.

The three-month Sibor, which is used to price most loans and mortgages here, has been inching its way upwards due to interest rate hike in the United States and a weakening Singapore dollar versus the greenback. The recent announcements by MAS to reduce the Singapore dollar from appreciating aims to keep the Sibor elevated.

The Sibor is fixed daily by the Association of Banks in Singapore based on quotes from banks on what they expect to pay for interbank loans that day. In short, it is affected by liquidity in the banking sector.

“The reduction of the appreciation slope could keep pressure on the US and Singapore dollar exchange rate and thus could ensure Sibor remains at current levels … This move by MAS helps keep Singapore policy on a stable footing, and we expect it to be modestly beneficial for Singapore bank earnings,” analysts from Morgan Stanley said in a research note.

Interest Rate Hike: What does it mean for You?

Many housing loans offered by banks are tied to three-month Sibor. Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC), for example, has 3 types of home loans and one that is currently offering home loans at three-month Sibor plus 0.85 percentage points for the first three years, according to its website. Lending rates are reviewed every three months. As the Sibor is set to increase, so will the interest rate rise. Home owners will eventually face higher mortgage payments.

“We had expected the bullish move in the SOR and Sibor since last year,” says UOB economist Francis Tan (source)

Analysts are looking at further upside to about 1 to 1.2 per cent at the end of the year. Effectively leading to an interest rate of about over 2% for home loans.

Let us assume an outstanding housing loan of S$500,000 and 20 years remaining. With the current interest rate of 1.5 per cent, this works out to a monthly payment of about S$2,410.

If the interest rate is increased to 2 per cent, the monthly payment would rise to around S$2,530. Should the rate rise to 3 per cent, the monthly payment would be S$2,770.

What to Do Next with Higher Interest Rate?

Higher interest rates charged by banks affect your loans directly. Thus you will see your loans, home mortgage loans, renovation loans slowly inching its way up.

Hence start reviewing your loans! For example, review your home loan packages every two to three years. Look at the trends Conventional wisdom has it that you should review your loan package every two to three years, or before the promotional period ends and your bank raises its premium on the interest you pay, which increases your monthly instalments.

In short, think long term and look around for good deals. Always negotiate with the bank on refinancing options.

Latest in Moneylending Industry Singapore

DPM Teo added that the improved situation was due to the tough laws enacted, strong enforcement efforts against loan-shark syndicates and the high level of community support in the fight against unlicensed moneylending activities.

According to DPM Teo, about 1,900 people were arrested for unlicensed moneylending and related harassment offences on average yearly between 2011 and 2014, while about 2,600 were convicted in court for these offences.

Debt Collectors in Singapore creating a fuss & harrassment at Funan Digital Mall Singapore

Debt Collectors in Singapore creating a fuss & harrassment at Funan Digital Mall Singapore

Seen the recent hype about public harassment during working hours? Debt collectors created a ruckus at Funan Mall over unpaid debts. Moreover, this was during working hours infront of the public eye.

With clamping down on unlicensed activities and harassment cases, this is looking good for us licensed moneylenders at Empire Global. The image of licensed lenders is changing for the better as tougher laws are weeding out bad lenders. Thankfully, the ruly debt collectors have been arrested for unlawful assembly.

Sources
http://business.asiaone.com/news/what-do-about-home-loan-interest-rates-rise
http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/courts-crime/story/debt-collectors-who-created-scene-funan-mall-foodcourt-arrested-po?page=15

Illegal Moneylenders Scam Alert

Watch Out! Illegal Moneylenders & The Ah Long Scams

Anyone catching up with the World Cup 2014 recently? We at Empire Global certainly have. Have you bet on a soccer match before? Know of friends who betted on sports and lost heavily? We believe this is becoming a norm to us all.

Rise in Illegal Moneylenders

If you have been catching up on our local news, there’s been a rise in local publications and awareness campaigns on punters borrowing from illegal moneylenders or loan sharks (also known as Ah Longs) to finance their gambling habits.

They take up high risk loans and some get conned into scams led by these illegal moneylenders. This shows the increasing rise in illegal moneylending and the risk awareness that the authorities are trying to put up front. Punters are being gamblers still delve into the habit of gambling.

Caution!!

A word of caution upfront: if you ever get caught up in borrowing from illegal moneylenders, it will be a bottomless pit of debt. Please be careful! Always check the source and seek advice or borrow from legal moneylenders instead.

As people get uptight about their money, they start borrowing or listening to any source that seem reliable. We have cases whereby borrowers have sought out illegal moneylenders that seemed legitimate, but yet ended up in even higher debts.

Read more on 7 Great Tips to identify legal moneylenders vs illegal moneylenders

 Rise of Technology And How You Are At Risk

With technology being easily available to all plus all everyone is getting on-board with social media, it has become easier for syndicates to retrieve all your private information and use it to their advantage. As time passes, these lenders get smarter and better hidden.

3 Rising Scams Run By Illegal Moneylenders or Scam Syndicates

Let us introduce to you 3 rising scams that have been run by illegal moneylender scam syndicates.

Scam No. 1: The Threatening Letter

Although this is seldom reported these days, but it was once at its peak.

Illegal Moneylenders Syndicate: Threatening Letter Scam

Illegal Moneylenders Syndicate: Threatening Letter Scam

A simple letter will reach your mailbox with similar content such as “ “We don’t want to disturb your family, neighbours or vehicle… Call this number… (dinosaur). If no return call, we will take action (last warning).” Some letters like the one shown will just plainly threaten others into fear.

You must be wondering how did the syndicate gotten hold of the address. This is a harassment and a scare tactic that the illegal moneylenders deploy.

Well, there are a couple of scenarios whereby this could have happened. It could be a simple contest or survey whereby your personal details have been leaked. The government has taken strong approach on privacy protection this is done through PDPC.

Read more on: DNC Registry Do-not-call List: Goodbye to unwanted calls and messages

Or in the worst case, a borrower has misused your information to borrow money and placed you as a guarantor. The mistaken identity that borrowers use is commonplace, and it really disrupts your personal life as illegal moneylenders are all out to harass and embarrass you.

Read more on: New Loan-shark tactic or scam?

Scam No. 2: Frightening Phone Call Scam

Illegal moneylenders are now using your own mobile number to contact you. Using abusive language and forcing innocent parties to repay for loans that they did not borrow.

  1. They target people and send threatening calls to tell them to deposit money into their account. They play on people’s psychology by threatening harm on their family or loved ones.
  2.  They target people who have previously borrowed money from illegal moneylenders. The unscrupulous ones will sell or leak information that scammers can use. As these borrowers will less likely report to the authorities, they are the prime targets and are more willing to pay than face shame and embarrassment.
  3.  In addition, scammers make false loan claims of innocent victims and intimidate them to pay up unknown loans they had not taken.  These callers will follow up with continuous SMSes, threatening the family members of the victim.

Do check out this episode by Crimewatch SG, and the Ah-Longs scams that have been run by the syndicates.

Scam No. 3: SingPass Scam

Firstly requesting a SingPass ID Password is strictly forbidden by law. Illegal moneylender syndicate start to request SingPass on unknowingly victims by assuming fake identities of legitimate sources. With a SingPass access, scammers can gain access to personal information

Illegal Moneylenders Scam Syndicates request Access to Singpass Login.

Illegal Moneylenders Scam Syndicates request Access to Singpass Login.

The Battle Against Illegal Money Lenders

The battle against Ah Longs (illegal moneylenders) is long and hard. It has since intensified when NCPC and SPF joined hands to launch a nationwide campaign to eradicate them. There are now campaigns consisting of Roadshows, TVCs, billboards and awareness movements to educate the public about the dire consequences of borrowing from unlicensed moneylending syndicates (Ah Longs).

As licensed moneylenders, Empire Global has strongly supported the movements and advise our customers to practice due diligence and for some not to repeat the past borrowing mistakes they had with illegal moneylenders.

The above scam practices are unacceptable of licensed moneylenders. If you encounter such money lenders, you should report it to the Registry of Moneylenders.

We highly encourage you to share this information to your network to highlight the alarming scams that are run these days.

Read more on: Why borrow from licensed moneylenders

Help Take Action: The X-Ah-Long Hotline

The hotline is at 1800-X-AH-LONG or 1800-9-24-5664, and allows the public to provide information on loan sharks anonymously. If you are in trouble or see others in trouble, please, help to reach out to the hotline and help to take action.

 

All you need to know about Pay day Loans

Payday Loan: Everything you need to know

Tight on cash this month? If you are, one option you may consider would be taking up a payday loan. A quick and fast cash loan subjected to your salary.

By definition, a payday loan is a short-term, unsecured loan. At times its referred to as “cash advance”. The interest rate is much higher in comparison to personal loan but the merit is that the loan is processed quickly and you so not have to give any security

Why people get A Payday Loan

Demand for payday loans have soared over the years due to the rapidly increasing cost of living and a non-existent rise in salary. Due to this worrying fact, more people are opting for payday loans and some are unable to repay them. We really do not want you to get caught in this debt trap so before you take a payday loan out, we want to be doubly sure that you understand what you are signing up for.

It helps to keep and maintain the basic needs that one may have. Not just that, life emergencies requires cash quickly. This is one of the many typical scenarios whereby a payday loan could really help you.

Many a times some of our customers got their loans from illegal moneylenders in Singapore who charge them extremely high interest rates. These unlicensed moneylenders target those who are desperate. Offering no obligations instant loans and take advantage of the borrower. These borrowers usually end up in higher never-ending debts.

Like always, we strongly advise you to get a loan from a licensed moneylender.

Basic Requirements for a payday loan?

Payday loan is our area of expertise. Empire Global specialises in payday loan and personal loans in Singapore. We do no judge base on race or nationalities when it comes to a payday loan.

So whether if you are a foreigner living in Singapore or a local, or just unfamiliar with the loan industry. Do no hesitate to drop us a call @ 6259 1883 or use our instant quote. Our loan officers will shortly attend to you in one hour.

Eligibilities
• Full time employment.
• Age above 21 years old and below 65 years old.
• You must be a Singaporean or Permanent Resident.
• Bankruptcy Do Not Apply.

Call us direct on any loan enquiries that you might have. We want you to make the correct decision. Do check out this guide provided by the Ministry of Law on borrowing from licensed money lenders.

What are the Advantages of a Payday Loan?

Loans differ on case by case basis. A personal loan might not be a right fit for you should you should you need advance cash faster. Basically there are 5 main advantages of a payday loan as compared to a bank loan.

1. Quick, fast, convenient. Payday loans are common in the market and the competition is high. There is a great variety of such short term loans and multiple offerings. Hence with a little bit of research and bargaining, you could get a better deal.
2. Payday loans are much easier to attain vs those by large financial institutions. Pay day loan serve as great alternatives to other loans provided by banks.
3. Smaller loan amount makes repayment much easier. Payday loans are kept small as they are meant to assist you in life emergencies. Essentials like keep your own house operating by paying for the multiple bills you have incurred. Smaller loans also allows affordable repayment options for many. This loan can be used for both businesses and personal transactions.
4. Lower qualifying requirements. As the amounts are smaller, the processes are far fewer. Most of the time cash advances are made accessible and transferred to the borrower’s account within a couple of hours.
5. Improves credit history. Payday loans are still loans. Since the loan amounts are smaller, it is easier to repay them. If you have previously failed to repay other loans, this is one of the easiest ways to improve your credit score ratings.

There are many cash loan and pay day loan located conveniently in Singapore. Once again we emphasize you to choose wisely on the money lender and loan plans that you intend to get. Great advice and guidance are some of the many things that our highly trained loan advisors take pride in. We always take time to assist you through when you apply for a loan or a non-obligationary quote enquiry.

We provide online application for pay day loans that are accessed and replied to you within an hour. Quick and great service is one of our promises.