Unlawful moneylenders buy advertisements online to look genuine and post images of customers to embarrass them into paying up
In the video, he states his name, NRIC number and home address. And then admits he has actually borrowed money from loan sharks.
Instead of hang pig’s heads on doors, loan sharks have actually created a 21st-century approach of harassing debtors – posting their information on social networks with videos and pictures they had actually required as collateral.
Many companies have an online presence, and prohibited moneylenders have cottoned on to how they too can create an air of legitimacy that might draw in unsuspecting customers. Some tech-savvy loan sharks are masquerading as certified lenders (LMLs) promoting their “services” online. This has actually caused an increasing number of individuals “wrongly” borrowing money from unlicensed lenders (UMLs), according to voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs) who assist those in debt.
Advertisements may appear on platforms like Facebook and Google, and some UMLs even have sites that look real.
This is in addition to unsolicited messages and calls from loan sharks providing loans, said the president of the Moneylender’s Association of Singapore, Mr Peter Tan. He stated individuals are deceived due to the fact that they presume that an unlawful operation would not be advertising so freely. When reached on the phone, some loan sharks even claim to be licensed if asked directly.
” This issue has been around for at least two years, but it’s ending up being more rampant as loan sharks get more brazen,” said Mr Tan. “The irony is that certified lenders can not advertise on these platforms, however individuals don’t know that.”
Mr Tan said he had brought this as much as the authorities.
When contacted, the police and Registry of Moneylenders said they were aware of the problem.
The law prohibits certified money lenders from promoting their organisation through online advertisements or unsolicited calls and messages. They are allowed only to note their businesses in directory sites, or publicise their services on their own websites, and in products readily available at their facilities.
Over the years, there have actually been more cases of loan sharks using names of registered moneylenders and creating authentic-looking sites, said Mr Steven Loh, 44, a counsellor from Blessed Grace Social Services.
He said some borrowers are deceived due to the fact that they do not know of the guidelines that bind LMLs, who can only make loans face to face at the business, and should offer loans in money or cheque.
” For loan sharks, all the deals take place online, and you do not even meet the individual,” he said.
Counsellor and board member at The Silver Lining Community Services, Madam Lucy Wee, 52, stated many loan sharks pretend to be genuine lenders when calling potential debtors.
” In a minute of urgent financial requirement, numerous do not take the extra action to examine if the business or individual is licensed. By the time they realise it’s a loan shark, it’s far too late,” she stated.
Another pattern observed by VWOs are loan sharks requiring to social networks to pester debtors.
In the past months, there have actually been sites, Facebook pages as well as YouTube channels established by purported loan sharks who publish information, images and videos of those who default on their loans.
While the pages are generally taken down within weeks, its function is to embarrass debtors and expose their financial obligation to loved ones, said creator of Adullam Life Counselling, Mr Wong Kee Soon.
Mr Wong, 63, stated these methods of “shaming” are becoming more common. “Loan sharks don’t just splash paint or put a pig’s head on your door anymore – they publish risks and indecencies on your Facebook wall and your pals’ walls.”
Mr Loh said loan sharks also tell debtors to take video or images of themselves with their NRICs or any kind of recognition. The videos and photos go online when they default on their payments.
Madam Wee said: “( Licensed) lenders are an option for those who require money urgently but can not borrow from banks because of earnings concerns. Besides making sure they’re licensed, do your checks and estimations due to the fact that if you’re unable to pay them back, you’re stuck in a vicious circle.”
A lot of businesses have an online presence, and prohibited lenders have cottoned on to how they too can create an air of legitimacy that might reel in unsuspecting debtors. Some tech-savvy loan sharks are masquerading as certified moneylenders (LMLs) advertising their “services” online. This is in addition to unsolicited messages and calls from loan sharks offering loans, stated the president of the Moneylender’s Association of Singapore, Mr Peter Tan. He stated people are deceived since they presume that an unlawful operation would not be promoting so freely. When reached on the phone, some loan sharks even claim to be accredited if asked straight.