First published: 13th December 2021
The Financial Conduct Authority have shared the below information during their Loan Fee Fraud campaign this month:
"2021 has been a tough year for many. However, there are scammers out there looking to make it even tougher. Scammers are cruel. They target the most financially vulnerable people of society – those with low incomes and low credit ratings, who have limited access to mainstream credit.
If you’re experiencing financial difficulties and may be considering a short-term loan, you may be vulnerable to loan fee fraud.
Loan fee fraud occurs when someone pays a fee upfront for a loan they never receive. It’s an increasingly common scam with people losing £274 on average.
The good news is, you can protect yourself with this three-step check:
• If you’re asked to pay an upfront fee, it could be a scam.
• If you’re asked to pay quickly, it could be a scam.
• If you’re asked to pay in an unusual way, such as vouchers or money transfer, it could be a scam.
Always check that the loan provider is authorised by the FCA before you borrow by visiting register.fca.org.uk.
If you think you’ve been contacted by an unauthorised firm or individual trying to scam you about a loan or have any suspicions about a financial service you have paid for, you should report it to the FCA.
To report a scam to the FCA, you can call them free of charge on 0800 111 6768 or online here"